Former Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo has reminisced on his time at Barcelona, saying that he spent some wonderful moments at the club and that if he is given a choice to return, he would happily accept it.
Arthur, who is still just 26 years old, spoke in a candid chat with Mundo Deportivo where he shed light on several aspects, including his take on what it is like to live in Barcelona and play for the club.
Starting off his comment on his life in Barcelona, he said that he has some good memories of the city.
“It was very nice. The city is incredible and it is a club that I have very good memories of. I lived very happy moments and the memories are all positive,” he said.
Arthur joined Barcelona in the summer of 2018 from Brazilian side Gremio for a fee reported to be around €31 million plus €9 million in added variables. However, despite signing a six-year contract, his tenure was cut short to just two seasons when he was sold to Juventus in exchange for MIralem Pjanic.
When asked about how he feels about his cut-short time with Barcelona, he said,
“I left when I was going to face my third season and then I had more experience than when I arrived from Brazil. Although it is an important league, the Brazilian one cannot be compared with the Spanish one. I think that at that time I was already 100% adapted and was better as a player, with more confidence,” he explained.
When asked if he is still in touch with any Barcelona players, he responded by saying,
“Yes of course. I talk a lot with Frenkie De Jong, and also with ‘Busi’ and with Jordi Alba, who have just left. They are great friends. I have always tried to watch their matches because I like this style of play.”
The 26-year-old went on to admit that he is a Barcelona fan and that if he ever gets a chance to return, he will not think twice.
“Yes of course [I am a Barcelona fan]. I don’t have to hide it. I like how they play, I enjoy watching their matches and I feel a lot of affection for Barça.
“In the world of football, anything can happen. I have lived very nice moments here and their style of play favours me,” he added.
The footballers explained that he is now a better player than when he first arrived at the club.
“When I arrived at Barça I was too young. Perhaps I had not matured enough to face certain challenges that I had. Now I am a much better player than when I arrived at Barça. Mentally, physically and also because of how I understand football.
“Today I feel that I have much more experience and it is worth it for my own life. On a personal level, having lived through difficult times has made me learn many things.
Arthur has played in La Liga and Serie A while he also got a close look at Premier League football when he was on loan at Liverpool last season, although injuries prevented him from playing a single game. When asked about which league would he like to play in again, he said:
“I think La Liga. They bet more on possession of the ball and a more technical football is played. But in the three leagues, I have learned a lot. In Italy, I learned a lot tactically and I also improved physically. And in England the intensity is incredible, the game doesn’t stop for a second.”
Lastly, the midfielder also had some kind words for former Barcelona captain Lionel Messi, saying that he is out of this world.
“He [Messi] is out of this world. Perhaps the best player in history. Or, at least, one of the top three. I had the great opportunity to share very nice moments with him in the locker room.
“He is somewhat more reserved, but he is a person with a very good heart. It’s amazing how he understands the game and how many years he’s been playing at the highest level. That cannot be achieved by anyone,” he concluded.