The latest addition to Atlanta United arrived on Tuesday, getting a tour of the facility and participating in an individual training session at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground in Marietta. Luiz Araújo, the left-footed striker born in Brazil, joins Atlanta as a designated player via international transfer from Lille OSC in France.
Araújo brings a winning pedigree with him to his new club, getting a title as recently as August 1 when Lille beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 to win the club’s first-ever French Super Cup. This past season, Araújo helped Lille win the Ligue 1 championship for the fourth time in club history.
“I’m very motivated by this new challenge,” Araújo said during his introductory press conference on Tuesday. “I was presented a great project and I like how the league is growing. I think I made a great choice.”
The club announced that Araújo will join the team on Wednesday, though it’s uncertain whether he’ll be available to play in Atlanta’s next match on Sunday due to a pending player visa. The Brazilian appears to be in good physical form. He trained on his own while at the grounds Tuesday and before joining Atlanta, he completed a full preseason with Lille and played 85 minutes in the match against Paris Saint-Germain.
“He fits the profile of the type of player the club likes to bring in,” Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “We think he’s going to be a great talent and really give us a boost for the second half of the season.”
Araújo joins Atlanta United at an opportune time. The team is coming home after a strong road trip that included a comeback 2-2 tie in Montreal and a 3-2 win in Columbus. Over the last three matches, Atlanta has scored seven goals and gotten George Bello, Miles Robinson, and Brad Guzan back from their call-up to the U.S. Men’s National Team. And currently sitting just six points behind in the standings for a playoff spot, the club is a good place for a proven winner and committed teammate like Araújo to land.
“The main reason why I’m here is because I'd like to win the league,” Araújo said. “It’s something I’ve enjoyed my whole life, to be a champion, so I’m looking forward to doing that here.”