For every athlete, game day is a special day. But before stepping out onto the field for pre-game warmups and then the match itself, there are other things to do in order to prepare oneself for competition. For most footballers, the early hours on game day are a time to rest, relax, fuel up, and begin preparing mentally. For Barça’s Arthur Melo, it’s no different.
Luckily for us, the 22-year-old midfielder from Goiânia, Brazil gave us a peek into what he does at home on game day. In this exclusive video, we partake in some fun but relaxing activities with Arthur, check out the panoramic views of Barcelona, sit down for lunch, chat about his routine, and accompany him on the short drive to Camp Nou.
Throughout the day, we also got to hear Arthur’s take on a host of topics surrounding the team — and Leo Messi in particular — the UEFA Champions League, and playing at Camp Nou, among others.
Here are the highlights of what he had to say:
ON LEO MESSI
“He’s fantastic. I admired him when I used to watch him on TV, but in person and off the pitch he’s even better. He’s a genius; the best player who has ever lived. I can only thank him for the confidence he’s shown in me.”
“The advice he gives me is tactical, as the Barça style is unique and each player has to know where their teammate is on the field of play.”
ON THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
“Hearing the Champions League music on the pitch is a unique feeling. It’s very emotional and I’ll never forget it. It makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.”
ON CAMP NOU
“It’s a dream come true to wear the Barça shirt. It’s a magic, unforgettable thing. When I stepped onto the pitch and saw how big everything is, it took me aback.”
ON ADAPTING TO THE TEAM
“I think that I’m adapting well. It’s difficult to come to a new place that you don’t know at all. It’s hard, but everyone has given me a great welcome. Having other Brazilians here has made things easier, because of the language.”
ON EUROPEAN FOOTBALL VS. BRAZILIAN FOOTBALL
“They’re different tactically. The level of technique is the same, because there are very good players in both places. Above all, the football mentality is more advanced.”
“A player usually doesn’t do anything off the ball in Brazil. Here, when you haven’t got the ball, an attacker forms part of the defense. Tactics are highly evolved in Europe.”