Speaking in an interview on Movistar+, Barcelona defensive mainstay Ronald Araujo has named Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema as the toughest opponent he has ever faced.
Araujo and Barça are set to lock horns with Real Madrid on Sunday in what will be a La Liga title decider. A win for the Catalans would send them 12 points clear at the top of the standings, and they will pretty much have one hand on the crown at that point.
At the same time, a defeat could allow Real Madrid a way back into the picture as it would reduce the gap to six points.
Ahead of the big game at Spotify Camp Nou on Sunday, Araujo spoke to the media and was asked to name the toughest striker he has faced in a quickfire segment. The Barcelona defender responded with the name of the Real Madrid skipper, saying: " Karim Benzema."
When probed about the lead that they have over Real Madrid and whether a win this weekend would guarantee the La Liga title, Araujo said that it will be a step in the right direction, but there is still a lot of games left in the season.
"It doesn’t mean anything, because there are still a few matches left. But it will be important for us to win," he said.
The defender was also asked about whether if he will end up playing as a right-back against Real Madrid this weekend, having enjoyed tremendous success in the position against the dangerous Vinicius Jr.
To that, Araujo said: "I think I’ll play as a full-back in El Clasico, but I don’t know what the coach has decided."
On the prospect of coming up against Vinicius, he added: "In every match, there is a different story, so far things have gone well, but there are still many confrontations ahead between us."
Araujo will be back in action after missing the game against Athletic Club due to suspension. And the Barcelona ace, who the club consider as the ‘best defender in the world’, said the break was nice as it helped him recover from a minor groin complaint.
"Having a break (suspension) was helpful, especially due to the discomfort I was having in the groin," he said.
Araujo will be back in the starting XI come Sunday and Barcelona could also welcome back Pedri into the fold after he trained with the team yesterday following a month out with injury.