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Uruguay official addresses Ronald Araujo fitness amid Barcelona concerns

Uruguay official addresses Ronald Araujo fitness amid Barcelona concerns

Vice-president of the Uruguayan Football Federation Gaston Tealdi has insisted that the national side will not use Ronald Araujo until he is fully fit.

The 23-year-old was a surprise inclusion in their squad for the 2022 World Cup considering that he underwent a thigh operation at the end of September to address the issue that he picked up on international duty.

According to Marca, Barcelona are fearful that Uruguay are attempting to force Araujo back before he has fully recovered due to his importance to the national side.

The report claimed the Catalan outfit could go to FIFA if they believe that the centre-back’s long-term fitness is being put in danger.

Araujo was left out of the squad for his country’s World Cup opener against South Korea on Thursday, though, and Tealdi has insisted that the defender will not be rushed back.

© Reuters

“Araujo is in the orbit of the Uruguayan national team. The last word is with the national team, but our intention is that any decision is made by mutual agreement. The last word is the player’s,” he told Que T’hi Jugues.

“The intention is to work slowly, gradually, giving security to Araujo and also to Barca. The moment Araujo is fit to be able to compete, the corresponding decisions will be made.”

Ahead of the clash with South Korea, which finished 0-0, Uruguay head coach Diego Alonso said that the defender is getting “better every day”.

“In principle, Ronald is working better and better every day, he is evolving. It is the body that will tell us when he is fit. He is evolving and we are very happy with how he is doing,” Alonso told reporters.

Uruguay boss Diego Alonso on September 27, 2022© Reuters

Araujo, capped on 12 occasions by La Celeste, has not played for Barcelona since the middle of September, having picked up the thigh injury against Iran in a friendly during the final international break before the World Cup.

“We have talked with Araujo about him being able to travel, we have talked with [Uruguay manager] Diego Alonso and it could be good for him to go accompany the team hoping that he recovers as soon as possible,” Barcelona boss Xavi told reporters earlier this month.

“If it’s a psychological issue to be with the group, then he should go.”

However, the Catalan outfit are not expecting him to be involved in the group stage of the competition, with Uruguay facing two more matches in Group H against Portugal and Ghana.

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