Julian Araujo, the Mexican international, was finally able to play for Barcelona after a long wait in the friendly encounter of the Spanish side against Japanese outfits Vissel Kobe. The match ended with a score line of 2 goals to 0 in favor of the Catalans. The friendly took place on June 6th in Tokyo. It was also Andres Iniesta’s final match as a Vissel Kobe player.
A Routine Performance From Barcelona
21-year-old Araujo had transferred from the American side LA Galaxy to Barcelona for about €4Mn earlier in 2023. However, he had not received a chance to make a competitive appearance for the club since the transfer took place after the registration deadline of January. It was 18 seconds late.
Nevertheless, the player had been training alongside the Barcelona first team for the past 4 months. As such, he finally received the opportunity to play a match wearing the Barcelona jersey at the National Stadium of Japan. Both of the goals came in the beginning 45 minutes through Eric Garcia and Franck Kessie.
Araujo has already been called up to his national squad six times. He had also played for the USMNT in the past. For the beginning 45 minutes of the match, Araujo played as the right-back, while he spent the second half as a left-back. According to sports outlets, Barcelona intends to keep Araujo with their first team during the preseason, as they head towards the US for the next stage. After that, the management will decide how to develop the player for the coming season.
Xavi Hernandez, the coach of Barcelona, also debuted a number of other youngsters during the friendly. Dani Rodriguez and Pau Prim were two that were in the starting lineup. Unari Hernandez, Marc Gui, and Hector Fort were substituted in the latter part of the game.