Juventus-owned Fiorentina midfielder Arthur Melo feels that he is currently at the peak of his physical ability, having played in more matches in 2023-24 than in any other season, which has left him feeling ‘phenomenal’. 

The 27-year-old, on the eve of the Europa Conference League final against Olympiacos, said that this “is the best moment of my career,” in an interview given to Spanish outlet Relevo

Arthur has recently completed a 30+ game league season for the first time in his career, featuring in 33 of Fiorentina’s Serie A matches this campaign, after a torrid time with injuries while on loan in the Premier League with Liverpool. 

While at Anfield, the former Brazil international played for just 13 minutes of Liverpool’s Champions League group stage opener against Napoli, which turned out to be his only appearance in the first team all season. 

He has since got back to regular first-team action under the guidance of Vincenzo Italiano, and is now set to feature in Wednesday evening’s European final. 

Arthur Melo on Fiorentina signing and 2023-24 comeback 

“I feel really good, phenomenal,” Arthur told Relevo. 

“This is the best moment of my career. Physically, it’s been the season that I’ve played the most minutes in over all these years. Also with much more experience under my belt after having played in several leagues and teams. It’s a mix, mentally and in terms of maturity, I feel phenomenal. 

“It’s important to play and play regularly, because that gives you confidence. It was something that was one of my objectives when I chose Fiorentina. My problems were always physical. Sometimes you have to play three times a week, but if you’re playing consistently, you gain confidence and want to play a lot of minutes. 

When asked if he spoke to any future or former colleagues before signing for Fiorentina, Arthur replied: “There were three Brazilians: Arthur Cabral, Igor and Dodo. Dodo is still there. And I called all three of them. 

“I called Arthur first and asked him not today anything to the others, and then I said the same to the other guys. I wanted to know if what they were telling me lined up, and all three of them told me the same thing. When I arrived, I saw that it’s a really serious club, and with Viola Park, it’s incredible. 

“I have felt like a footballer again. As I said, I think it’s the best moment of my career. Since I left Gremio, this is definitely the best moment. I didn’t miss a game, I was always available. 

Difference between Serie A, Premier League and LaLiga

Asked what he has learned specifically from his time in Italy, Arthur said: “Italian football has given me a lot of strength in terms of tactics. It is more organised than in Spain, and the Premier League is more about physical contact football. I had to learn a lot defensively. 

“The Italian league has a lot of very good teams, it is a different sort of football. It is a very strong and powerful league.” 

Then, revealing which Fiorentina player has impressed him the most, Arthur said: “Nico Gonzalez is the truth. I didn’t know him that well, but when I saw him play, oof, he’s very good. He’s having a very good season.” 

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