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 23:26, 27 June 2020 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19 November 2019
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 professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for La Liga club FC Barcelona and the Brazil national team.
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. He's set to join Italian club Juventus once the current season ends.
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 at the 2018 Supercopa de España on 12 August, in which Barcelona won 2–1 over Sevilla. Arthur made his league debut during the first league match of the season, also registering his first assist for the club in a 3–0 win against Alavés. On 31 August 2019, Arthur scored his first goal for Barcelona in 2–2 away draw against Osasuna.
On 29 June 2020, Barcelona announced that they had reached an agreement with Juventus for the transfer of Arthur on a five-year contract for €72 million, plus €10 million in variables; the deal was also coordinated with a swap of Miralem Pjanić. He is set to join the Italian side in September 2020.
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 play
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. Despite 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. In 2020, former midfielder Enzo Maresca stated that he felt Arthur was best suited to the roles of either an attacking midfielder or a mezzala.
- As of match played 27 June 2020
- As of match played 19 November 2019
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Team of the Year: 2017
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Best Newcomer: 2017
- South American Footballer of the Year: 2017 (3rd place)
- Copa América Team of the Tournament: 2019
- FIFA FIFPro World11 nominee: 2019 (11th midfielder)
- "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.
- "Arthur". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
- "Criação da base: conheça trajetória de Arthur, volante goiano que conquista torcida gremista". Vavel. September 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
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- "Grêmio recusa proposta de mais de R$ 40 milhões por Arthur". 90Min.com. June 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
- "Atlético de Madrid envia olheiro para observar Arthur, do Grêmio". Zero Hora. May 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
- Sport (30 November 2017). "Arthur se doctora ante Robert Fernández". sport (in Spanish). Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "Barça and Gremio reach agreement on option for Arthur transfer". FC Barcelona. 11 March 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "Agreement for the transfer of Arthur". FC Barcelona. 9 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
- "Espectacular estreno de Arthur: golazo y partidazo". Mundo Deportivo. 28 July 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
- "FC Barcelona win 13th Spanish Super Cup". FC Barcelona.
- Sport (31 August 2019). "Arthur Melo scores his first-ever Barcelona goal in draw with Osasuna". sport. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
- "Agreement with Juventus for the transfer of Arthur". FC Barcelona. 29 June 2020. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
- "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]
- "Brazil name Copa America squad". Football Italia. 17 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
- Smyth, Rob (7 July 2019). "Brazil 3-1 Peru". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
- Sport (12 October 2018). "Xavi Hernandez "Arthur can mark an era at Barcelona"". Sport-English.com. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
- "The new Xavi? Arthur sets a six year La Liga record". FourFourTwo. 7 October 2018. Retrieved 8 October 2018.[permanent dead link]
- @OptaJose (13 March 2019). "98.6% - Arthur Melo completed 98.6% of his passes against Lyon (71/72)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Barcelona's new Xavi? Impressive Arthur a ray of light in Valencia draw | Goal.com". Retrieved 23 October 2018.
- "Arthur and Dembele earn praise from Barca great Iniesta". Yahoo. 27 February 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
- Conti, Dimitri (18 June 2020). "Maresca: "Sarri va aspettato. Champions? Attenti al Manchester City, è pericoloso"" (in Italian). Tutto Mercato Web. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
- Arthur Melo at Soccerway. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
- "Arthur: Arthur Henrique Ramos de Oliveira Melo 2018–19". BDFutbol. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
- "Games played by Arthur Melo in 2019/2020". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 24 August 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.
- "Rankings: How All 55 Male Players Finished". FIFPro World Players' Union. 23 September 2019.
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