During an interview with Globo Esporte, Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo explained why his biggest example to follow is Xavi Hernandez.
We’ve already talked about how much Arthur Melo and Xavi Hernandez resemble each other’s style of football, but we still hadn’t heard this directly from the Brazilian player until now.
There is a specific turn that was very typical of the Catalan midfielder, a very simple piece of skill that always did wonders for the player and made him famous around the world for executing it to perfection.
Arthur has managed to recreate this same signature move as his own, which one of the many characteristics that bring all the comparisons to the former Barcelona player.
Arthur is obviously very influenced by many of the great Brazilian players that he grew up watching play, the biggest example for him was Ronaldinho Gaucho, but Xavi Hernandez is almost like a spirit animal for him due to how striking the similarities between the two are.
Arthur also grew up watching Andres Iniesta at FC Barcelona, he is the player whose number he took at the Catalan club and there is also something similar to the way that he plays but there is no doubt that Xavi was always the biggest influence.
🗣 "I was nicknamed ‘The Exorcist’s daughter’ at Barca. I don't turn my head to 360 degrees like her, but there are games where I've rotated mine more than 500 times to find space."
– Xavi Hernández. 👀🔥 pic.twitter.com/SOqgECVJxt
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) March 21, 2018
“During my time as I was growing up, my biggest influence was Ronaldinho but Messi was already a great player despite still being a bit under the radar,” said Arthur during the interview.
“But I used to watch both Xavi and Iniesta, those were the two best midfielders in the world because my way of understanding football identified with them. The made things very simple but very efficient.”
“They are the players that I always admired and the ones that I always wanted to imitate. Getting compared to either of them is very gratifying, it makes me look back and thank everybody that helped me over the years.”
“But I gotta say, that I really think my style of football is more similar to Xavi’s, it simply fits better in my profile. I used to love the way in which Xavi and Iniesta received the ball and turned the way the did with such ease.”
“It was as if they had eyes on their back. The way they provided their passes between the lines. I used to kick the ball to the wall and make it rebound so when I received it, I could be able to turn back in just one movement.”
“I used to do this in my home’s door, when I was nine or ten years old. I started all this as a joke, never thinking that I had the quality to be a good player. It’s really because I love doing it, it is my way of understanding football.”
Now that he is playing as a regular for the Brazil National Team, Arthur has finally found his ideal position and he can finally help out his country in a place that wasn’t occupied within Tite’s roster.
The Canarinha was lacking a creative midfielder with Arthur’s characteristics, they have finally found him and this will make things a lot easier for Brazil because they will have a greater opportunity to play offensive football.
Players like Arthur are amongst the most important in world football, they are the ones who make the ball flow through the whole pitch because they are who make the rest of the players participate in the collective and they become the canal through which creativity flows.
Arthur really is one of the best signings that FC Barcelona could’ve gotten in order to continue the tradition that Xavi and Iniesta left when they retired, he has been proving this season how important his presence is on the squad and the Catalan club will really need him for the final stretch of the season in all three competitions that remain possible to conquer.
— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) March 23, 2019
What do you think about Arthur’s clear inspiration being Xavi Hernandez? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.