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Arthur Melo: The new passing-king of Europe3 min read

Arthur Melo: The new passing-king of Europe and Barcelona

Arthur arrived from Brazil to join Barcelona and quickly became a part of the Catalan club. The 22-year-old midfielder already leaves no one disappointed with his sublime control over the midfield. 


Arthur is one of those players who is brutally revealed in the midfield of Barcelona. Almost unknown a few months ago when he landed from Gremio to join FC Barcelona, he is gradually gaining ground in Catalonia. In Brazil, his talent is already tested.

It was a Luiz Felipe Scolari who launched him as a professional in January 2015, after seeing the player do some prowess at the Sao Paulo Junior Cup. Arthur Melo soon became an indisputable holder in the mid-park. During his first appearance in Copa Libertadores, the midfielder was elected the man of the match. In 2017, with the victory in the final of the Copa Libertadores, high point and final clap for Arthur arrived in Brazil.

A new start at FC Barcelona

It was in March 2018, that the now former FC Barcelona sports director, Robert Fernandez, announced the transfer of the Brazilian nugget during the summer of 2018. The tidy sum of 31 million euros is disbursed while the player has never really proved himself at the highest level. A surprise? Not really, because the small midfielder (1m72) seems to have the DNA of Barca. “It is normal that Barca has recruited Arthur. He is this type of player who does not miss a pass because he only passes instead of trying miracles and plays in a simple way. He has the level to play at a big one of Europe,” affirmed Scolari in the press conference.

 

A worthy successor of Xavi

“I am sure he will soon be the indisputable holder in midfield. He showed his qualities to become “the new Xavi”. He could be the right person to replace him. These words come from a legend of FC Barcelona and Arthur’s compatriot, Rivaldo. On the field, Arthur has an impressive vision of the game, with the ability to break lines in one pass without feeling any real effort on his part. His master class, he faced Real Madrid for his first El Clasico with no less than 94% successful passes and undeniable influence over the mobility of its partners. He had already made a strong impression in the Champions League game against Tottenham, as the Spanish press noted at the time: “He is not Xavi, but he plays like him. A talented player with a midfielder profile different from all those recently arrived in Barça.” Against Valencia, last October, Arthur Melo achieved a new feat with no less than 135 successful passes out of 142 attempted.

The beginning of a great career with Brazil

Brazil has an incredible ability to hatch young players and Arthur Melo is a perfect example of it. With the U-17 and U-20, the midfielder quickly joined the youth teams of the Selecao before diving into the big bath of the senior team. Brazil coach Tite explained this choice to summon him, ” For Arthur, I wanted to see him in a match at stake (in Libertadores against Botafogo), and despite the atmosphere, he knew how to disregard and play without pressure, with a high concentration level.”

Arthur had a scanty playing time for the first time against USA but convinced his coach. Tite said, “Arthur articulates the game. He always finds the best solution, the best out of ball.” Against El Salvador, on September 12, the player made his full debut for his country. “A moment engraved,” he pointed out on Twitter. A few weeks later, he had the honor to play against arch-rivals Argentina and Brazil was once again very appreciative of him. “He never misses a pass. It’s no coincidence that Barca is interested in a player like Arthur,” said Brazilian media. Arthur also fit very well into the Selecao group spirit. As a proof, during a small game in training, Arthur and Philippe Coutinho lost a bet and had to play the role of a server for Neymar, with a big smile.

 

The praises of his teammates

All are unanimous, Arthur is a crack! The player is especially a big name in the world of football. “It’s a huge pleasure to play with him. He gives a big thrust to our team and he is the engine. He is a perfect midfielder,” highlights his teammate Philippe Coutinho. Lionel Messi, five-time Ballon d’Or winner also praised Arthur upon his arrival. “I did not know much about him, and if we have to talk about similarities and comparisons, the truth is that his style is similar to Xavi’s. He is still asking for the ball and is looking for short passes, he does not want to give the ball to the opposition.”

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