As part of the Catalan Derby, Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo turned to social media to express regret for a gesture made during his team’s 2-2 draw against Espanyol.
A confrontation occurred between the Uruguayan centre-back, who was removed at half-time due to injury, and Espanyol midfielder Nico Melamed, who was sent off the field late in the second half.
In what looked to be an apparent mockery of the Periquitos, Araujo was spotted yelling “To Second, to Second!” at the opposition’s bench, a reference to Espanyol’s projected relegation to La Liga 2 in 2022, towards the opposition’s bench.
After his actions were brought to his attention, the 22-year-old apologised and said that whatever transpired was a consequence of his being caught up in the moment and that he is not proud of what he did.
Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo wrote his apology on his social media accounts
On his social media pages, the defender expressed his regret for his actions.
"“I want to apologise to everyone associated with Espanyol for my gesture today. It’s all part of the buildup of tension that occurs with derby games like this. In my interactions with opposing fanbases and teams, I believe myself to be courteous, which is why I’m not proud of what transpired,” Ronald Araujo said."
In the post-match press conference, manager Xavi was questioned about the incident, and although the 42-year-old admitted that he was not aware of the incident, he said that such acts are simply unacceptable in sport.
"“I haven’t seen anything about it. We have to show courtesy to our opponents, the referee, and the opposing crowd. We must always be courteous, although due to the high level of stress, this may be difficult at times. However, I apologise if this has occurred since he should not have done so,” Xavi said."
The Catalan derby between Barcelona and Espanyol was sensational
The neutrals were not let down by a frantic Catalan Derby that had everything, from red cards to an injury-time equaliser, to keep them entertained. After Pedri put Barcelona ahead early in the first half, Espanyol came back with a goal from Darder and Raul de Tomas to alter the momentum.
Substitute Luuk de Jong scored a 96th-minute equaliser to rescue a point for Barcelona after Melamed and Gerard Pique were sent off in the second minute of stoppage time.
Concerning Araujo, he was pulled off at halftime and replaced by Eric Garia, with the club noting that the defender had suffered a calf injury and would need further examination.
His actions, on the other hand, did not go down well with the players of Espanyol. During a post-match interview, Sergi Darder reminded Araujo that, despite being a superb defender, he should keep in mind that he, too, was playing in the second division a few years ago.
"“He was playing in Segunda B a year or two ago,” Darder told Marca, referring to the player’s previous position.Darder also said, “He’s a heck of a centre defender, but these things don’t assist him.”"