To continue a tradition of brilliant Brazilians at Barcelona with the likes of Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, a new golden generation is breaking through
Barcelona has always had successful Brazilians in it ranks, from Romário and Ronaldo to Rivaldo and Ronaldinho. But following the departure of Dani Alves and Neymar in recent years, new Brazilians have emerged. It’s Arthur Melo and Philippe Coutinho looking to make history, this time around.
Just a year ago, Arthur was on the verge of finishing the first season in his professional career with a triumph in the Copa Libertadores, after being named man of the match in the final. The midfielder would then go on and complete a dream move to Barcelona, that some thought was too early for a player with this little experience in first team football. But by the time the summer had arrived, the up-and-coming player was to join the Catalans and impressed in pre-season, eventually earning himself a regular spot in the team.
The fans of the Catalan club are crazy about Arthur, already comparing him to club legend Xavi Hernandez due to several similarities in their style of play. While Arthur continues to grow and achieve his goals, by becoming a permanent starter for both Barcelona and Brazil’s national team, another Brazilian is gradually becoming a fan-favorite at the Camp Nou. Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool so he could realize his dream of playing for the champions of Spain and finally win major trophies, which he did.
In the absence of Lionel Messi, Coutinho took matters into his own hands, scoring the opening goal in El Clasico against Real Madrid, whereas Arthur put in a strong midfield performance, which did not go unnoticed in the Spanish press.
It is clear that both Brazilians are enjoying an excellent moment in their time at Barcelona, which can certainly be reflected positively on the Seleção. In fact, Casemiro, Arthur, Rafinha and Coutinho all started in Sunday’s clash. It is a clear sign about the improvement of Brazilian football and its ever-growing ability to produce midfield gems, after a dark phase where the likes of Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho, Ramires and Elias were considered regular players under Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlos Dunga.
To put things into perspective, Barcelona absolutely dominated Real Madrid in El Clasico, and it would not have been possible without Arthur and Coutinho, due to their roles in helping control the midfield, as well as test Thibaut Courtois on numerous occasions, making life hard for the Madrid’s defense.
It’s clear that Barça is a club that has a habit of attracting Brazilians, most of them whom end up being extremely successful and leaving their mark. Arthur and Coutinho have what it takes to be key members at the club for half-a-decade, and will probably end up winning the UEFA Champions League at least once.