‘Melo like Xavi’, raves Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi believes new Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo is ‘really similar’ to his former teammate and Barca captain Xavi Hernandez.

Brazilian Arthur moved to the Camp Nou in a €40m move from Gremio this summer but has yet to make a start for the Catalan giants, playing in two substitute appearances.

“I didn't know much about Arthur before [he joined], but he's really similar to Xavi,” Messi told Catalunya Radio, in quotes carried by ESPN FC.

“He's really safe and reliable [on the ball]. He has the style of a player that's come through La Masia.

“He plays well over short distances, he doesn't lose the ball… He's got to grips really quickly with the team's dynamic.”

The Argentine star also spoke about his desire to win the Champions League title, which Barca last won in 2015: “It's time [to win it again].

“We have been knocked out in the quarterfinals in the last three seasons. Last season's result in Rome hurt especially, but we have a spectacular squad and we can fight for it [this season].

“There are clubs now with a lot of money and players move for that reason, whenever the most money is, that's where they end up going. Things have changed and now the owners of clubs are multi-millionaires.

“Before, everyone wanted to play for Barca or Madrid, who were the best, but now everything's tighter and there's not much of a difference between the teams in Manchester, PSG, Madrid, us, Bayern [Munich], the Italians…”

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