Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Arthur in emotional farewell to Barcelona: I´m leaving my home

SoccerNews in La Liga 24 Aug 2020

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Arthur said a fond farewell to Barcelona in an emotional video published to social media on Monday as he prepares to join Juventus.

Brazil international Arthur joined Barca in 2018 and showed promise in his debut campaign, with his passing abilities and style of play earning comparisons with club icon Xavi.

But his progress stalled in 2019-20 as he failed to establish himself during a challenging campaign for the Blaugrana.

Speculation about his future began to circulate while LaLiga was on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, though the 24-year-old insisted he had no interest in leaving despite reported interest from Juve.

But the stories intensified and in June it was confirmed that Arthur would go to Juve in a deal potentially worth €82million, while a €65m transfer saw Miralem Pjanic go in the opposite direction.

Arthur subsequently became marginalised as then-coach Quique Setien suggested the midfielder would only play as a last resort, and that situation led to the Gremio product making himself unavailable for the resumption of Barca’s Champions League campaign.

Now, as he prepares to embark on a new journey with Juve, Arthur reiterated his affinity for Barcelona.

“Saying goodbye is always difficult, even more so [because I am] leaving behind a place that has become my home,” he said in a video posted to his official social media channels.

“An incredible city that will remain forever in my heart, where everyone received me as another Catalan, showed me a new culture, helped me to grow as a player and, especially, as a person.

“I am leaving a group of brilliant players. I’m very lucky to have played alongside them and, most of all, I am grateful for their support as good people with huge hearts.

“The crowd won me over from the first day, made me proud to play for them and to wear one of the greatest shirts in the world.

“They showed me care and respect that I will never forget. Today is the day to say goodbye, but I am taking everything with me in my heart forever.”

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