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Former Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo talks Xavi, Valverde, Setien, Vitor Roque



Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

The name of Arthur Melo to this day evokes a plethora of feelings for Barcelona fans. The former Gremio star was the talk of the town when he arrived at the club in 2018 and was largely touted as the ‘next Xavi Hernandez’.

Arthur provided his services in Catalonia for two seasons where his quality stagnated after an initial rise. He was soon made scapegoat for Barcelona’s financial situation and the club exchanged him with Juventus for Miralem Pjanic.

The Brazilian’s career has been on a downward spiral ever since. He failed to light up the park in Juventus before moving to Liverpool on loan. A disappointing spell in England saw the Merseyside giants reject the chance to sign him, and he currently plays for Fiorentina.

The ex-Barcelona player spoke to Pablo Fuentenebro earlier this week in a detailed interview that touched on multiple facets of his career so far. He specifically elaborated on his love for Barcelona, Xavi Hernandez, and what he made of the team’s strength today.

“Everyone knows that I have a great love for Barcelona, ​​as it is my first team in Europe. The club I have been following since I was young and I follow the club because of Xavi. I’ve always liked him as a player.”

“Now they are in very good form, they won the league last season and I think they have a very good team. I wish Barcelona and Xavi good luck,” he added.

Arthur also went on to praise the manager who facilitated his arrival to Barcelona, Ernesto Valverde, and all that he learnt under the Spanish tactician’s tutelage.

“Valverde was the coach who opted to sign me. I learned a lot from him, I knew I was very young and was new in Europe. He tried to help me and talk to me,” he said.

The Brazilian also opened up on his relationship with Quique Setien and the manner of his departure to Juventus, which to this day remains one of the club’s most puzzling operations.

“With Quique Setién I had a very respectful relationship. Before leaving for Juventus I spoke with him about what was happening, what I believed and what the club was doing.”

Speaking on the young Brazilian talents who have signed for Barcelona and Real Madrid, i.e. Vitor Roque and Endrick respectively, Arthur said:

“Vitor Roque and Endrick are great players, they should focus because they have talent. They are very good, they are stars, they play well and now they must listen to those who have experience.”

“The dream of every Brazilian player is to reach the big European teams and play in the Champions League. But first, you have to enjoy the game,” he advised.

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