Atlanta United today announced it has signed forward Luiz Araújo (pronounced Ahra-OO-joo) as a Designated Player via transfer from Lille OSC. Araújo played in 136 matches at Lille over four seasons and helped lead the club to the Ligue 1 title during the 2020-21 season. Araújo will be added to the team and occupy an international roster spot pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa.
“Luiz is a player with great drive, a winning mentality, and is coming to us from a top club in Europe that just won their league,” Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “He has experience in big games, as well as UEFA Champions League and Europa League. We’re looking forward to him making an impact with the club.”
Araújo, 25, joined Lille in 2017 from São Paulo FC, where he began his career. Born in Taquaritinga, Brazil, Araújo broke through at the 2016 U-20 CONMEBOL Libertadores where he was the tournament’s leading scorer with five goals and helped lead São Paulo to the championship. Over two years, he made 49 career appearances with São Paulo and scored nine goals. He then made the move to France ahead of the 2017-18 season.
For Lille, Araújo made an immediate impact, appearing in 34 of the club’s Ligue 1 matches that season, while scoring five goals and registering two assists as Lille avoided relegation. The following year, Lille jumped all the way to finishing second in the table, as Araújo made 25 appearances and scored three goals. He continued to play a contributing role for the 2019-20 season, making 21 appearances as Lille finished in fourth. He also appeared in all six of Lille’s UEFA Champions League matches.
But it was during the 2020-21 season where Araújo made his mark, appearing in 28 games with 17 starts for the French champions. In addition to winning the league – its first league title in 10 years – Lille finished with 83 points, it’s best-ever finish in the club’s 77-year history. Recently, Araújo started the 2021 Trophée des Champions match against Paris St. Germain on Aug. 1. Lille won the match 1-0 to claim its first-ever trophy in the competition.
Name: Luiz de Araújo Araújo Guimarães Neto
Birthdate: June 2, 1996 (Age: 25)
Birthplace: Taquaritinga, Brazil
Transaction: Atlanta United signs Luiz Araújo as a Designated Player via transfer from Lille on August 6, 2021.
2021 Atlanta United roster (as of August 6, 2021)
Goalkeepers (3): Brad Guzan, Alec Kann, Ben Lundgaard
Defenders (14): Mikey Ambrose, Josh Bauer, George Bello, George Campbell, Alex De John, Franco Escobar*, Alan Franco, Andrew Gutman**, Ronald Hernández, Brooks Lennon, Efrain Morales***, Miles Robinson, Anton Walkes, Bryce Washington
Midfielders (12): Mo Adams, Ezequiel Barco, Machop Chol, Jürgen Damm, Emerson Hyndman^, Franco Ibarra, Marcelino Moreno, Jake Mulraney, Matheus Rossetto, Amar Sejdić, Santiago Sosa, Tyler Wolff
Forwards (5): Luiz Araújo, Jackson Conway, Erik Lopez, Josef Martinez, Erick “Cubo” Torres
* – on loan with Newell’s Old Boys
** – on loan with New York Red Bulls
*** – on loan with ATL UTD 2
^ – on Season-Ending Injury List