Balaídos does not evoke good memories in the recent history of Barça. Barça’s last victory at the Celta de Vigo stadium was in the year of Luis Enrique’s hat-trick. Since then, the list of nonsense on the shores of the Atlantic has not stopped growing. And not only for the results themselves (no victory in six visits between League and Cup), but especially for the series of events that have accompanied this bad dynamic, such as the little hell that Ter Stegen lived after fitting a 4- 1 with direct responsibility, the full-color portraits of Iago Aspas to Mathieu or Yerry Mina, or the relapse of Dembélé four days after the fateful outcome of Anfield. The tradition of serving as a backdrop for misery was maintained in Balaídos a month ago, when Barça were drawn – again Aspas – and handed over to Madrid the league’s solo lead, so that some heavyweights in the squad publicly evidenced their differences with the coaching staff. The gestures of Messi and Rakitic starting Eder Sarabia monopolized the hangover of the last game that, so far, Arthur Melo has played with the Barça shirt.
In Vigo, in a context of chaos, Setión gave the Brazilian midfielder the last five minutes of the match. Two days later, the player made his signing for Juventus official. Since the agreement was announced that will take him to Turin and Miralem Pjanic to Barcelona, Arthur has not stepped on the grass again. Therefore, the (bad) memory of Balaídos is, for now, the last one he keeps with the Barça shield on his chest. And he wouldn’t want that to stay that way forever. In fact, he feels a certain envy when he sees that his Bosnian counterpart is being able to say goodbye with his boots on, feeling part of the Scudetto that Juve is about to revalidate. Pjanic has accumulated more than 300 minutes on the orders of Maurizio Sarri. Meanwhile, the former Grêmio player, in the same period, has disappeared from Setién’s plans, who also had no problem singing his flaws in public. “It’s not easy for a footballer to change things that other coaches have told him were right,” said the Cantabrian coach about his style of play.
The minutes lost in the League can no longer be recovered. And the painful memory of Balaídos continues. That’s why Arthur, once he has reluctantly digested his departure – albeit well paid – at Juventus, hopes to have the Champions League opportunity to do the last service at the club that signed him thinking it would be the new Xavi Hernández. The sanctions of Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal for the return match of the round of 16 against Napoli at the Camp Nou help him in this sense, as they leave Setión without the two midfielders he uses the most and with only four options for four positions . In this scenario, the Brazilian raises his hand, leaves aside the comments he has had to read and listen to in recent weeks and makes his repertoire available to pass the playoffs. Depending on his environment, he doesn’t want to be left alone as the player who has had to come out to square the accounts in a time of economic uncertainty. He wants to leave having played and fought for the goals, being news about the field and not because he yawns on the bench or because the coach hints that he has been eliminated from a game with nothing in play against Alabès. Arthur has helped make Barça cut the impact of the pandemic on the treasury, but now he wants to help him by making it one of the most prominent midfielders in the world.
Brazilians below minimums
Melo’s safe departure will once again reduce the number of Brazilians at Barça for the second summer in a row. In fact, depending on how the market goes, Neto could be the only representative of this country in the staff. The other two Brazilians who have a contract in force are Coutinho and Rafinha, but all indications are that they will leave the entity again after their respective transfers (to Celta and Bayern, respectively). The little Alcántara has an affordable clause of 16 million and could leave forever, while the Rio de Janeiro has a poster in the Premier League and a starting price of 60 million – half of what it cost two years ago. Gone are the days when Brazilians made a difference at the Camp Nou. Now they enter and leave the club to do business or star in operations with dubious sporting backgrounds – Gustavo Maia, Matheus Fernandes, etc. -.