Uruguay manager fires back at Joan Laporta over Ronald Araujo concerns

Tom Gott
Araujo is out injured
Araujo is out injured / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Uruguay manager Diego Alonso has laughed off concerns from Barcelona president Joan Laporta that he could rush Ronald Araujo back to action before he is ready.

The centre-back suffered a groin injury in September which was expected to rule him out for the World Cup, but Araujo travelled to Qatar with his side in case he managed to recover in time.

Unfortunately, Araujo has not featured at all this winter and he may not get the chance to at all, with Uruguay at risk of elimination from the group stages and no longer in control of their own future heading into the final matchday against Ghana.

Uruguay's perilous position led to concerns from Laporta that Araujo could be 'rushed' back to action before he is fit, but Alonso has laughed off such concerns.

“The agreement we had is contrary to what the president of Barça is saying, when the player is fit he will play," Alonso said. "Whether Araujo plays will always depend on me in the first place and on the agreement we made with Barça.

“When he is fit, the player will be available and if there is a disagreement, a third party will decide. That is the agreement. The player is still in recovery and when he is fit he will participate, We can’t set a date because it’s a medical issue.”

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Araujo is not expected to feature against Ghana, with the plan understood to be to try and get the centre-back ready for the knockout stages, but Uruguay face a battle to get there in the first place.

A draw with South Korea and a defeat to Portugal have left Uruguay bottom of Group H, although they still have a great chance to advance to the knockout stages.

Uruguay must beat second-placed Ghana and rely on Portugal, who have already confirmed their spot in the next round, beating South Korea.