Arthur Melo described joining Liverpool as a ‘dream’ during his first interview as a Reds player.
The Brazil international midfielder completed a season-long loan switch from Juventus on transfer deadline day and, after putting pen to paper at the AXA Training Centre, sat down with Liverpoolfc.com for an in-depth chat about the move.
Watch the interview here or read on for a full transcript.
Arthur, congratulations and welcome to Liverpool, how does it feel to be here?
Thank you. I’m really, really happy to be here wearing this great shirt with this famous badge that represents so much in world football. It’s a dream.
There has been lots of speculation about your future, why was Liverpool the right move for you now?
We talked a lot and our ideas and visions were a good fit so I think, no, I’m sure, that it was the right choice. I’m really happy and highly motivated to continue living my dream on the pitch and giving my all in a Liverpool shirt.
You’ve been part of massive clubs before and this is another massive club, but what excites you most about this move?
Liverpool have a wonderful history in football. I’ve played against Liverpool, I know what it feels like to be in the stadium with the fans behind them. I was with the opposition and now I’m on the right side so I’m really excited. It’s a massive club with a great manager and great players. As I said before, it’s a dream to be here.
You have great flexibility and you can play different midfield roles. Have you always thought that the Premier League would suit you?
I’ve always wanted to experience English football, it’s the best league in the world in my opinion. I’ve always wanted to experience it. The football here is very complete - you have to mark, attack, score goals. It’s a very complete, high-level competition. That’s why I’m so happy to be here.
You are 26, there is a World Cup coming up in a few months and you will be playing in one of the most exciting teams in Europe. That must fill you with excitement?
Absolutely. I can’t wait to start playing and training with my new teammates, being in the dressing room, getting into the day-to-day routine, something I’ve waited so long for. I’m full of enthusiasm. Obviously the World Cup is a goal but first of all I have to earn my place here in a Liverpool shirt. There will be no shortage of drive and desire.
Jürgen Klopp is your new manager, how much are you looking forward to working with him?
He’s a sensational guy, one of the best coaches in the world. He is so intelligent, full of emotion, he’s friends with the players and plays alongside them. He’s on the sidelines though it’s as if he’s playing on the pitch with you. I don’t think there’s any better feeling having someone like this alongside you. As I just said, he’s highly intelligent and understands so much about football, with a lot of experience. It will be a pleasure.
There has been some bad luck with injuries in the Liverpool midfield this season. Do you feel you can contribute and play straight away?
Yes, I feel ready, I’ve prepared a lot for this moment and now it’s here. Now it’s time to perform after all the hard work I’ve put in. I feel prepared and ready and I am eager to get started straight away.
You’ve picked the No.29 shirt, is that a number that is special to you?
The number 29 is special to me, it was my number at my first professional team Gremio. It brought me a lot of luck so maybe there’s an element of superstition around the number 29. It’s a number that I really like, it brought me a lot of luck and hopefully it will do the same here at Liverpool.
There are some huge games coming up in the Premier League and Champions League and first is the Merseyside derby against Everton. How excited does that make you?
They’re the games all players like playing in: big games where the fans’ emotions run high. The sensation of being on the pitch during these games, playing and feeling this emotion, is priceless. That’s why we work so hard every day in preparation for these moments - the games, even more so for big games that all players love playing in.
You’ll have memories of Anfield as an opposition player but now you’ll get to put the red shirt on and play for Liverpool - how does that make you feel?
It’s really emotional. As I mentioned, I’ve experienced playing in the stadium with such an incredible place in football history. I was on the other side, not anymore. I could feel the emotion on the pitch, the fans never stopped cheering. They pushed the team on and on. I’m sure it will be an unforgettable life experience for me, I’m really looking forward to getting started straight away and feeling these emotions. I really can’t wait.
You’ve arrived here on a season-long loan, what are your aims as a Liverpool player?
My objectives are to rediscover my best football, get back to feeling good about myself, earn the confidence of the manager so I can show my best football and win trophies. A team the size of Liverpool has to aim to win as many trophies as possible. I think we have a team capable of this, the structure is in place. The team is used to playing in these big competitions and winning them. We have to aim as high as possible.
I'm so proud! ❤️ https://t.co/QAlyOAEbe2— arthurhromelo (Arthur Melo) 1st Sep 21:13
It’s always a difficult process coming to a new club and new country but you have so many friends in the squad. Can that make the transition a little easier?
Definitely. Settling in is always difficult, adapting to anything in your life isn’t easy. I’m really lucky that I’ve played with numerous players at the club for the national team. I know them very well - Alisson, Fabinho, Firmino. They’re great friends and great players, I’m sure they’ll be a great help to me settling in here.
Finally, what is your message to the supporters watching or reading this interview?
Thank you for the affection, for all the messages I’ve been receiving. There will be no shortage of drive and desire whilst I honour this special shirt. I am looking forward to getting started straight away.