Arthur Melo is very excited about an all-Brazilian Copa Libertadores final. "It makes me very happy," says the Juventus and Brazilan star, who won the tournament with Gremio, the club where he started his professional career, back in 2017. "It makes me happy to see two Brazilian teams. So whoever wins, at least we can be sure that the trophy stays at home!"
He won't commit to a winner as he believes both, on their day, can be excellent, especially after beating River Plate and Boca Juniors respectively. "I don't think there is a favorite," says Melo. "They're both very good teams, so this is very difficult. The Palomita will decide the game."
As he promotes the latest version of the well-known Adidas Predators collection, Arthur sits down with me for ¡Qué Golazo! to discuss his move to Juventus, his thoughts of Serie A as well as winning the Champions League with the Bianconeri.
"I think it's obvious that every club in Europe dreams of winning the Champions League," says the midfielder. "And, well, it's not easy, and now we have to face Porto, who is a great team, and they're two games so we have to concentrate extra during these two matches."
Arthur knows this has been a tough season - both domestically and in the Champions League, especially because they're going through a transition as Andrea Pirlo continues to learn the traits of being a manager. But, he believes in his manager, and just the fact that he's learning from one of the greatest players who has played his position gives Arthur full confidence in the Juventus project. "The truth is that working with him is an honor," says Arthur. "He was a player whose style of play fascinated me when I watched him on T.V. Now, the fact that I can learn from him? It's a great honor."
He knows he is not alone in that sentiment as his Juventus teammates think so highly of both Pirlo and the project. A squad, by the way, that is loaded with talent. Aside from the obvious key star Cristiano Ronaldo, Juve has a strong South American contingency, with names such as Juan Cuadrado, Paolo Dybala and his compatriots Wesley, Alex Sandro and Danilo.
But aside from these names, he has been most impressed by Weston McKennie, the 22-year-old American midfielder on loan from Schalke. "He has surprised me a lot," says Arthur, who made his debut for Brazil's senior team against the United States. "He is an extremely intense player, he's always running all over the pitch and helps defensively too. But he also scores a lot of goals, important ones for a midfielder. He's a very, very good midfielder and one of the best."
For more of our chat, which also includes his favorite Brazilian, playing for Brazil and more about the new Adidas Predators, make sure you head over to our YouTube channel - UCL on CBS Sports - and watch the whole segment. A warning, since his English and my Portuguese are limited, we met in the middle and chatted in Spanish. Enjoy!