Barcelona legend defends Gündoğan over post-PSG Araújo comments

A former member of the defensive ranks at La Liga giants Barcelona has on Friday weighed in on the ongoing controversy stemming from the aftermath of the club’s Champions League exit in midweek.

The subject of ongoings following the full-time whistle in Barcelona’s defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain has of course dominated the headlines in Catalunya’s capital over the last 72 hours.

This comes after İlkay Gündoğan caused quite the stir, when drawn on the costly dismissal of teammate Ronald Araújo:

“If he fouled him I guess it’s a red card. I haven’t seen the replay.

“But in these kind of crucial moments, you need to be sure to get the ball and if you can’t get it — again, I’m not sure if he got the ball or not — you have to stay away.

“I (would) prefer to concede the goal there or give the striker a one-on-one: give him the opportunity, let our goalkeeper save us or even concede a goal, because to be one man down with a red card so early in the game, it kills you.”

The comments gave rise to something of a split in opinion, some arguing that Gündoğan was overly harsh at a sensitive moment for his teammate, whilst others lauded the German for his refreshing honesty.

One individual who certainly appeared to agree with those in the former camp, though, came in the form of Ronald Araújo himself.

Drawn on Gündoğan’s interview during a public appearance of his own on Thursday, the stopper sniped:

“I’d rather keep for myself what I really think. I have my own codes and values that I think you need to respect.”

And, as alluded to above, 24 hours on, another with close ties to Barcelona has provided his take on the ongoing drama in Catalunya.

The individual in question? Carles Puyol.

Speaking whilst in attendance at a La Liga event ahead of Sunday’s showdown between his former club and Real Madrid, Blaugrana legend Puyol moved to play the incident down.

Adamant that Gündoğan meant no harm with his comments, the ex-stopper assured that ‘everything will already have been resolved’:

“You have to try not to say too many things because they can then be interpreted in many ways,” Puyol began, as cited by Diario Sport. “But I am convinced that he had no bad intentions. They will have already spoken inside the locker room and everything will already have been resolved.”

Conor Laird | GSFN

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