As far as praise goes for a Barcelona midfielder, it doesn’t get much better than being compared to club legend Xavi.
That’s exactly what Arthur received from none other than Lionel Messi last week, as noted by Eurosport, although naturally the 22-year-old has a significant way to go to come close to matching the achievements of the Spaniard.
Nevertheless, the comparison is there in terms of what he can offer to the midfield for the Catalan giants, and he has seemingly made a positive first impression on Messi after joining Barca this past summer.
Importantly though, he is refusing to let that go to his head. In order to be considered a success at the Nou Camp, he will have to deliver consistently over a prolonged period of time, and so the Brazilian ace has seemingly taken the praise in his stride and will continue to work to improve.
“It makes me feel very happy to get praise from Messi especially from someone like him, because he is such an exceptional person,” he is quoted as saying by AS. “I know that I can’t let these things go to my head. I have to keep doing my job with my feet firmly on the ground and continue finding my place out on the field of play.”
Given the fact that Arthur has played only 28 minutes of La Liga football so far this season, and in his career to date, it’s arguably a little bit too early from Messi to be making such lofty comparisons.
Nevertheless, he must have seen plenty in training and in pre-season to suggest that his Brazilian teammate can play that same role effectively, and so time will tell if he is given more responsibility by coach Ernesto Valverde in the coming months to prove that Messi’s suggestion is indeed accurate.