Arthur Henrique Ramos de Oliveira Melo (born 12 August 1996), commonly known as Arthur Melo (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈaʁtuʁ ˈmɛlu]) or simply Arthur, is a Brazilian footballer who plays as a midfielder for Spanish club Barcelona and the Brazilian national team.
Arthur with Barcelona in 2019
|Full name||Arthur Henrique Ramos de Oliveira Melo|
|Date of birth||12 August 1996|
|Place of birth||Goiânia, Brazil|
|Height||1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:14, 31 August 2019 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13 September 2019
Born in Goiânia, he began his career at Grêmio winning the Copa Libertadores in 2017 and Campeonato Gaúcho in 2018. In his three years at Grêmio, Arthur established himself as a prospect which led Barcelona to sign him for an initial fee of €31 million in 2018.
In January 2015, following his impressive performances at the Copa São Paulo de Futebol Júnior, Arthur was promoted from Grêmio's youth team under first-team manager Luiz Felipe Scolari. He unexpectedly started in his first team debut, against Aimoré for the Campeonato Gaúcho. However, he was substituted at half-time by Argentine full-back Matías Rodríguez and made no more senior appearances that season. In 2016, Arthur made his league debut in the last match of the season, a 1–0 home loss against Botafogo, replacing Kaio in the second half.
In 2017, Arthur become a first-team regular after a string of good performances in Primeira Liga and Campeonato Gaúcho. In his Copa Libertadores debut, a 1–1 away draw against Club Guaraní, he was named man-of-the-match after completing 40 passes, with an impressive 100% rate success. His playing style and build earned drawn comparisons with Spanish midfielders Andrés Iniesta and Thiago, and attracted interest from European clubs such as Chelsea, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid. In May, Arthur scored his first professional goal, the opener in a 3–1 victory against Fluminense for the Copa do Brasil. In July, he scored his first league goal, the second in a 3–1 away victory against Vitória. In November, was elected by Conmebol the man of match in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final against Lanús, despite playing only 50 minutes due to an injury.
On 11 March 2018, Barcelona reached an agreement with Grêmio for the transfer of Arthur. The Spaniards agreed to pay an initial fee of €31 million plus €9 million in added variables. Arthur signed a six-year contract and was officially announced as a Barça player on 9 July 2018. On 28 July, Arthur scored a goal on his debut against Tottenham Hotspur in a pre-season friendly match.
Arthur made his competitive debut in Supercopa de España. In a match where Barcelona won by two goals to one.
He made his league debut on the first league match of the season also registering his first assist for the club. Assisting Coutinho in a route to a 3–0 win against Alavés. On 3 October, he showed superb skills in the middle of the park in his first start, against Tottenham. Barcelona winning by 4–2.
His first El Clásico was on the 28th of October where he dominated a midfield consisting of Luka Modrić and Toni Kroos. Receiving high praise for his performance. Arthur was named in the UEFA Champions League Breakthrough XI of the group stage after an impressive debut for the Blaugrana.
Arthur has represented Brazil in under-17 level. He was part of the Brazil under-17 squad selected to play in the 2013 South American Under-17 Football Championship. On 15 September 2017, Arthur received his first senior call-up to the Brazil squad to face Bolivia and Chile for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification. In May 2018, he was named in the standby list for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He made his international debut against United States in a 2–0 friendly win on the 7th of September 2018 coming on as a substitute. The Brazilian's first start was against El Salvador in a 5–0 win on the 12th of September.Tite praised the midfielder's playing style saying, "He always finds the best escape, the best pass out". Even if he doesn't provide the assist, he comes up with the pass that will help a player."
In May 2019, Arthur was included in Brazil's 23-man squad for the 2019 Copa América on home soil. In the 2019 Copa América Final against hosts Peru on 7 July, at the Maracanã Stadium, Arthur assisted Gabriel Jesus's match-winning goal towards the end of the first half; the match eventually ended in a 3–1 victory to Brazil.
Style of playEdit
Much like contemporary and Barcelona teammate Frenkie de Jong, Arthur is regarded as a visionary player always looking for spaces to pass the ball. Gifted with excellent ball-control, he is difficult to dispossess when on the ball; he often utilises his dribbling skills to great effect, and is known for using a feint known as 'la pelopina', which had previously often been performed by former Barcelona midfielders Xavi and Andrés Iniesta, which has led several figures in the sport to draw comparisons between them and Arthur. Although he is not known for his goalscoring ability, he still is able to contribute to his team's offensive play by providing assists and "pre-assists". A versatile midfielder, he is capable of playing as a deep-lying playmaker, central midfielder, box-to-box midfielder, and occasionally also as a holding midfielder. Although not graduating from La Masia he poses many playing styles and techniques that are ingrained into Barcelona produced footballers at a young age, thus leading to many pundits, experts and former players opining that he has "Barça DNA" ingrained into him. His agility, technical ability, dribbling and movement – both on and off the ball – allow him to create space and control the flow of play in midfield, whilst his exceptional vision, playmaking ability, and precise passing allow him to retain possession, create chances, and make decisive passes for teammates. During a match against Valencia he attempted 142 passes, 135 of them successful; this was the highest number of successful passes in a single La Liga away game that any player had produced since Xavi in November 2012 against Levante. Arthur's highest pass accuracy in a single match with Barcelona is 98.6%, which he achieved when he completed 71 passes out of 72 attempted in a Champions League knockout match against Lyon in 2019. Regarded as a promising young prospect in world football, former Barcelona midfielder Iniesta has praised Arthur, stating that his presence in midfield is highly positive for Barcelona's future.
- As of match played 25 May 2019
- As of match played 7 July 2019
- "Acta del Partido celebrado el 04 de mayo de 2019, en Vigo" [Minutes of the Match held on 4 May 2019, in Vigo] (in Spanish). Royal Spanish Football Federation. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
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- "Future youngsters?". UEFA Champions League. 26 December 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
- Sport (31 August 2019). "Arthur Melo scores his first-ever Barcelona goal in draw with Osasuna". sport. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
- "Volante Arthur é convocado para a Seleção Brasileira Sub-17". Portal Oficial do Grêmio. February 2013. Archived from the original on 14 September 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
- "Lista de 35 de Tite para a Copa tem três novatos: Dedé, Maicon e Paquetá" [Tite's 35-man list for the Cup has three new players: Dedé, Maicon and Paquetá]. Globo Esporte (in Portuguese). 25 May 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
- "Philippe Coutinho on target as Arthur makes first start". Barca Blaugranes. 12 September 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018.[permanent dead link]
- "Barcelona: Tite: Arthur always finds the best escape, the best pass out". Marca. 8 September 2018. Retrieved 9 September 2018.[permanent dead link]
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- Smyth, Rob (7 July 2019). "Brazil 3-1 Peru". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
- "The new Xavi? Arthur sets a six year La Liga record". FourFourTwo. 7 October 2018. Retrieved 8 October 2018.[permanent dead link]
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- "Arthur and Dembele earn praise from Barca great Iniesta". Yahoo. 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
- Arthur Melo at Soccerway. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
- "Arthur: Arthur Henrique Ramos de Oliveira Melo 2018–19". BDFutbol. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
- "Arthur". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- "Brazil 3–1 Peru". BBC Sport. 7 July 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
- "Corinthians domina seleção do Brasileiro e tem quatro jogadores entre os melhores" [Corinthians dominate Brasileiro's Team of the Year and have four players amongst the best] (in Portuguese). Globo Esporte. 4 December 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
- "Luan es el nuevo Rey de América" [Luan is the new King of America] (in Spanish). El Pais. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
- "El equipo ideal de la CONMEBOL Copa América Brasil 2019" (in Spanish). CONMEBOL.com. 9 July 2019.