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Football Reporting


Barcelona: Araujo’s World Cup in doubt

Barcelona confirmed on Saturday that both Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo are undergoing medical examinations to determine the extent of their injuries, which in the latter’s case could even put the World Cup in doubt.

Both players were at Barcelona‘s training complex early on Saturday to be checked.

The club have yet to put a timescale on their recoveries, but have confirmed that Kounde has a hamstring problem and Araujo a thigh complaint.

It is expected that the Frenchman will be out for up to a month, but the Uruguayan could be facing a more extended spell on the sidelines.

This immediately casts doubt over his participation in the World Cup.

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Both of the injuries occurred on international duty and caused their early return to Barcelona.

Kounde had to be replaced midway through the first half of France’s victory over Austria in the UEFA Nations League, while Araujo was withdrawn in the opening seconds of Uruguay’s friendly against Iran.

Xavi’s options

While the injuries are a concern for their national teams going forward, there is also a more immediate dilemma for Xavi who has suddenly lost two of his back four.

The France international had been playing at right back and will likely be replaced by Hector Bellerin or Sergi Roberto.

Araujo, meanwhile, had established himself as one of Xavi‘s first-choice centre backs, but we will now see Andreas Christensen or Gerard Pique – or even Marcos Alonso – partner Eric Garcia.

Dutch internationals

Xavi has potential headaches elsewhere, too, with Memphis Depay and Frenkie De Jong both returning early from international duty with the Netherlands.

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Both picked up knocks against Poland and will also undergo further examinations, with Memphis‘ injury potentially more serious.


All these problems come at a bad time for Xavi and Barcelona as the calendar becomes hectic after the international break, with games squeezed in ahead of the World Cup.

In October, the Blaugrana will face Mallorca, Celta, Real Madrid, Villarreal, Athletic Club, Valencia, Bayern Munich and Inter, twice in the case of the Italian side.

That’s a packed month with some huge games which could go a long way to defining Barcelona‘s season, so, naturally, Xavi will want his full squad raring to go in order to keep legs fresh.

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