Barcelona's Araujo says surgery not a case of club versus country
Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo says the decision to undergo thigh surgery is not a matter of club versus country, with the centre-back set to miss the Qatar 2022 World Cup with Uruguay.
The 23-year-old had been widely expected to be a lock for Diego Alonso's side ahead of the end-of-year tournament.
But Barcelona's announcement that he will undergo thigh surgery for a tendon problem in Finland on Wednesday, with a likely three-month lay-off to follow, looks to have dashed those plans.
Taking to social media on Monday, however, Araujo was quick to shoot down suggestions he had chosen the Blaugrana over his country, instead stating he was merely following the best medical advice.
"I want to make clear the reasons why I made my decision, to avoid speculation," he wrote. "I love my country and I love my team.
"After consulting with several professionals, we decided the best [choice was] surgical intervention. Here, it is not about choosing one or the other, it is about health and getting back to 100 per cent as soon as possible.
"Personally, these are difficult times and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the support I'm receiving.
"With faith and hard work, I'll do my best to get back to as quickly as possible. Hugs and blessings!"
Uruguay will need to finalise their squad for Qatar 2022 by November 13, a week ahead of the host nation's opening game with Ecuador.
They themselves begin their campaign four days later, on November 24, when they face South Korea in Group H.