Future Barcelona signing Arthur admits it is a blow to see Andres Iniesta leave before he joins the club from Gremio.
Iniesta, 33, is expected to move to the Chinese Super League at the end of the season after confirming that this will be his last year at Camp Nou.
Arthur, who has agreed to join Barca and could make his move to Spain as early as July, is disappointed he will not get the chance to play alongside his idol.
“I’m sad,” he told Sport. “I started to understand football in a different way, watching Iniesta play with Barcelona. He was an example to follow for me, someone who, from a distance, I’ve tried to have as a reference.
“On the other hand, we have to see that he’ll leave Barca with his head held high and having given so many trophies to the club.
“I’d hoped to be able to share a dressing room with him. It was a dream to be on the same team. But, God willing, we’ll meet one day, whether playing or not, and I’ll be able to give him a hug.”
Arthur admits he has watched a number of Barca games since the newly crowned La Liga champions struck a deal with Gremio for his signature in March.
The 21-year-old thinks the emphatic 5-0 win over Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final highlighted why he has made the right choice to sign for the Catalans.
“It’s very gratifying to see how they play,” he said. “The style was one of the reasons why I agreed to tie my future to Barcelona. I think my way of playing will help me in my adaptation.
“The final was a spectacle, fantastic. To see how Barcelona dominate, the speed at which they circulate the ball, what [Lionel] Messi is capable of doing in the final metres… it was fascinating.
“I like to see teams that have possession of the ball and know how to work it. This is my way of understanding football and how I try to play.”
The terms of the deal allow Barca to sign Arthur in two months’ time for a fee that could reach €39 million.
Despite the uncertainty over when he will head to Spain, the midfielder is happy with the assurances he has been given.
“Barca trust me and I’m happy about it,” he said. “They called to reassure me. Everything is well on track. It’s a dream to play at a club of the greatness of Barcelona. I’m sure everything will be fine.”
For now, Arthur’s focus is on Gremio’s challenges in domestic competition and the Copa Libertadores, and the prospect of earning a surprise call-up to the Brazil squad for the World Cup.
“It’s logical that I’m a little anxious because going to the World Cup is a dream for any player, and it’s no different in my case,” he added.
“I have to keep focused on my job, try to play as well as possible and always honour the Gremio shirt.”