Felipe Melo

Felipe Melo de Carvalho (born 26 June 1983), known as Felipe Melo, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for and captains Brazilian club Palmeiras.

Felipe Melo
Felipe Melo playing for Palmeiras in 2018
Personal information
Full name Felipe Melo de Carvalho[1]
Date of birth (1983-06-26) 26 June 1983 (age 37)
Place of birth Volta Redonda, Brazil
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 30
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2003 Flamengo 26 (3)
2003–2004 Cruzeiro 31 (2)
2004 Grêmio 19 (3)
2005 Mallorca 7 (0)
2005–2007 Racing Santander 48 (6)
2007–2008 Almería 33 (7)
2008–2009 Fiorentina 29 (2)
2009–2011 Juventus 58 (4)
2011–2015 Galatasaray 114 (15)
2015–2017 Inter Milan 31 (1)
2017– Palmeiras 116 (9)
National team
2009–2010 Brazil 22 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 5 January 2021

He began his career with Campeonato Brasileiro Série A teams Flamengo, Cruzeiro and Grêmio, before moving to Spain in 2005, where he represented Mallorca, Racing Santander and Almería in La Liga. After one year at Fiorentina, he signed for Juventus for €25 million in 2009. Felipe Melo spent four seasons at Galatasaray, playing 154 total games and winning eight honours, including three Süper Lig titles. After a spell back in Serie A with Inter Milan, he returned to Brazil in 2017 by signing for Palmeiras, where he soon won the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A in 2018.

Felipe Melo was a Brazilian international from 2009 to 2010, earning 22 caps and scoring two goals. He was part of their squads that won the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and reached the quarter-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Club career


Felipe Melo began his career for Flamengo, where he made 69 appearances and scored no goals in his two-season spell with the club. Following impressive performances with Flamengo, Melo transferred to Cruzeiro in the summer of 2003, but would remain for just one season. In his single season with Cruzeiro, Melo managed to make 31 league appearances, scoring two goals. Following yet another impressive season in Brazil, he was sold to Grêmio.

Following his transfer to Grêmio, Melo managed to make an additional 19 appearances and adding three goals to his tally in his native Brazil. He would only remain in Porto Alegre for 2004, because Grêmio was relegated that year and the team was dismantled.


In January 2005, Felipe Melo moved abroad for the first time, joining Spanish La Liga club Mallorca, who released Andrija Delibašić to give him a place.[2] He played only eight times for the Balearic team, his season ending through knee ligament injury against Valencia in March;[3] they narrowly avoided relegation.

Ahead of the 2005–06 season, Melo moved to fellow league team Racing de Santander. He scored his first goal for them on 21 December, in a 2–1 win away to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.[4]

On 3 July 2007, Felipe Melo became Almería's first signing ahead of their debut top-flight season. The transfer, which involved buying some of his rights from a third-party owner, was the most expensive in the club's history.[5] He was a regular in midfield for Unai Emery's team, contributing seven goals as the Andalusians finished 8th.


After a successful first season at Almería, Felipe Melo agreed to transfer to Italian side Fiorentina in a reported €13 million transfer for the 2008–09 season.[6][7] Having held Spanish nationality since the 2007–08 season, he was not counted as a non-EU player in the Italian Serie A.[8]

He made his debut in the first leg of the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League against Slavia Prague, and scored his first goal in a Viola shirt against Atalanta in the Serie A. After a very impressive debut season in the Serie A, which included 29 appearances and two goals, the Brazilian transferred to Juventus in Turin.


Felipe Melo training with Juventus in 2009.

On 30 June 2009, following a lauded performance with Brazil at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, Felipe Melo signed a new five-year contract with Fiorentina,[9] with a release clause of €25 million. At this point, Arsenal was reportedly in negotiations to sign the player.[10] Within days, however, Melo was the subject of a bid from Juventus. The two rival clubs eventually agreed a fee of €25 million in total and Juve's Marco Marchionni joined Fiorentina on 15 July 2009 for a tagged price of €4.5 million.[11][12][13] Later, Cristiano Zanetti, tagged for €2 million, re-joined Fiorentina.[14] This allowed Juve to pay Fiorentina €18.5 million in three instalments.

The first half of the 2009–10 season was one to forget despite a bright start to his Juve career. He scored his first Juve goal against top-of-the-table rivals Roma in a 3–1 win. In the December Derby d'Italia fixture at home, he was controversially sent off for a supposed elbow at Internazionale's Mario Balotelli. The incident sparked a fiery argument between his teammate Gianluigi Buffon and Inter midfielder Thiago Motta, and both had to be separated by Inter and Juve players. Due to his poor performances throughout the season, he won the Bidone d'Oro Award in 2009, which was given to the worst Serie A player during a particular season.[15] Melo was instrumental in his side's win over Milan at the San Siro in the 2010–11 season, and was later voted man of the match.


Felipe Melo playing for Galatasaray in 2014.

On 22 July 2011, Felipe Melo joined Galatasaray in Turkey on a season-long loan deal for €1.5 million, with an option to transfer permanently at the end of the season for €13 million.[16][17] He agreed on a contract with a net annual salary of €3.3 million plus a per-appearance bonus of €30,000,[18] replacing departed Lorik Cana as the club's new central midfielder. He was attributed to the nickname "Pitbull" by the team supporters because of his passionate playing style, which also helped him become a fans favourite quickly; it is said that he displayed the mutual respect back with his tattoo of the club's mascot, a lion, on his arm.[19] This is not true, however, because in his own statement, he states that this is a coincidence and that he got the tattoo due to the fact that in Brazil, a lion is a symbol for Jesus Christ.[20]

Felipe Melo scored his first goal on 18 September 2011 from a 35-metre-long shot against Samsunspor. He scored 12 goals in 36 league matches, and at the end of the season, he was among the champion squad.

Felipe Melo had been expected to make a permanent move to Galatasaray, but on 24 July, transfer fee negotiations between the club and Juventus broke down due to the Turkish club requesting a lower fee for the player.[21] On 14 August, the two clubs were able to agree another loan deal sending Melo to Turkey for the 2012–13 season, for €1.75 million, with the agreement including "the option, to be exercised by Galatasaray by 30 April 2013, for the permanent acquisition of the player for a price of €6.5 million".[22] Melo also had a wage cut to €2.9 million with an appearances-based bonus of €25,000.[23]

On 24 November, in a game between Galatasaray and Elazığspor in the Süper Lig, Felipe Melo went in goal and saved a penalty, after regular keeper Fernando Muslera had committed a foul and been sent off after Galatasaray had already used all their substitutions.[24]

On 20 July 2013, Felipe Melo made a permanent move to Galatasaray on a three-year contract worth €3.1 million plus bonuses, while the transfer fee was reduced to €3.75 million plus bonuses of a maximum €500,000, which the club activated.[25][26][27] He made his 100th appearance for the club on 2 February 2014 in Süper Lig encounter against Bursaspor in a 6–0 home win.[28]

On 13 August 2015, Melo signed a four-year contract extension; during the first season of said contract, the yearly salary remained unchanged at €3.1 million, but was set to be reduced to €2.6 million for next three seasons.[29] As of 2015, he is the most decorated Brazilian player in Turkish domestic competitions, winning seven cups, beating the record of his fellow countryman and ex-Galatasaray goalkeeper Cláudio Taffarel.[30]


On 31 August 2015, Felipe Melo returned to Italy to sign with Internazionale[31] on a 2-year contract and a €3.7 million transfer fee, plus €500,000 bonuses for each UEFA Champions League group stage qualification of the club, up to the 2017–18 season. Melo also received €657,500 from Galatasaray.[32][33] He officially returned to Serie A play on 23 September 2015 against Hellas Verona, against which he also scored his first goal for Inter.


On 8 January 2017, Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras announced the signing of Felipe Melo on a 3-year contract.[34] Four days later Inter Milan announced that it was a loan until 30 June,[35] with Melo's contract with Inter set to expire on the same day.

International career

Felipe Melo made his senior international debut for Brazil on 10 February 2009 against Italy in a friendly, a match Brazil won 2–0. On 1 April 2009, he scored his first goal for his country against Peru in a 3–0 World Cup qualification victory.

Felipe Melo was named to the Brazilian squad for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, playing in every match of the tournament for his side and scoring the opener in a 3–0 group stage win against the United States.[36] Brazil would again beat the U.S. in the final to win a third consecutive Confederations Cup title.[37]

Felipe Melo was named in Brazil's final 23-man squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In Brazil's quarter-final against the Netherlands in Port Elizabeth, he provided the assist for Robinho's tenth-minute opener, before Melo himself slightly touched a Wesley Sneijder cross, which at first was recorded as an own goal, but later credited to Sneijder. Sneijder then put the Dutch 2–1 ahead, before Melo was then sent off by referee Yuichi Nishimura in the 73rd minute for a violent stamp on Dutch winger Arjen Robben.[38] On Brazil's return home after the World Cup, Felipe Melo took the brunt of the criticism of the fans as they threw insults, pushed and shoved towards the players.[39]

Style of play

A quick, strong, tenacious, yet talented midfielder, Felipe Melo is known in particular for his hard-working, energetic, physical, and hard-tackling playing style, which has earned him the nicknames Pitbull and Gladiator, while in 2015 his Inter manager at the time, Roberto Mancini, described Melo and his teammate Gary Medel as warriors.[40][41][42] He is able to play as a central or box-to-box midfielder, but is usually deployed as a defensive midfielder, where his stamina, power, tactical intelligence, and ball-winning abilities aid him in breaking down opposing plays, while his good all-round skills, first touch, and passing allow him subsequently to distribute the ball to his more offensive-minded teammates.[41][42][43][44][45][46] In addition to his defensive attributes, he is also known for his dynamism and ability to make late runs into the area from midfield, which occasionally enables him to provide an additional attacking outlet to his teams.[41] Throughout his career, Melo has stood out for his leadership on the pitch, although he has also equally been criticised for his aggression and tendency to pick up cards.[40][43][47]

Personal life

Felipe Melo is married to Roberta,[48] and they have one daughter (Pietra) and three sons, Davi, Linyker (who he named after the English centre forward Gary Lineker),[49] and Bernardo.

On 18 June 2013, through Twitter and Facebook, Felipe Melo offended Renato Maurício Prado, a pundit of the Fox Sports channel. Among another names callings, Melo called Prado "coward", "arsehole" and "the most famous cuckold of sporting journalism".[50][51] Prado sued Melo in August.[52]

On 4 June 2014, Felipe Melo was on vacation with his family and friend in Las Vegas. Whilst enjoying dinner with his family and friends, a former football player and his friend handed Melo a hand-written paper stating "Sampiyon Fenerbahçe – which means Champion Fenerbahçe". Fenerbahçe, the main opponent of Galatasaray, had finished as Turkish Süper Lig champions for the 2013–14 season, which had just concluded. Melo responded to the note by showing the two his middle finger and by kicking one of them. The case was taken to American police.[53]

Felipe Melo endorsed Jair Bolsonaro in the 2018 Brazilian presidential election.[54][55] He dedicated his winning goal against Chapecoense in October 2019 to the president, a fan of Palmeiras.[56]

Career statistics


As of 14 March 2020.[57][58][59][60]
Club Season League Cup Continental Other Total
Flamengo 2001 Série A 310031
2002 2120062274
2003 200020
Total 2630062325
Cruzeiro 2003 Série A 3120020332
2004 00003131
Total 3120051363
Grêmio 2004 Série A 1930020213
Total 1930020213
Mallorca 2004–05 La Liga 700070
Total 700070
Racing Santander 2005–06 La Liga 33310343
2006–07 15300153
Total 48610496
Almería 2007–08 La Liga 33710347
Total 33710347
Fiorentina 2008–09 Serie A 29210100402
Total 29210100402
Juventus 2009–10 Serie A 2932090403
2010–11 2912070381
Total 58440160784
Galatasaray 2011–12 Süper Lig 3612003612
2012–13 261009000351
2013–14 301818110473
2014–15 201716010342
2015–16 2000000020
Total 114151522312015418
Internazionale 2015–16 Serie A 26120281
2016–17 500050100
Total 3112050381
Palmeiras 2017 Série A 1003040132302
2018 2925180130553
2019 2434092111486
2020 00002080100
Total 63512123245314311
Career total 4594836390647363260

Note: Other contains state-level competitions such as Campeonato Carioca, Campeonato Gaúcho, Campeonato Mineiro and Campeonato Paulista, as well as Super Cups such as the Turkish Super Cup.



National teamClubSeasonAppsGoals
Brazil Fiorentina 2008–09102
Juventus 2009–10120
International goals
Scores and results list Brazil's goal tally first.[62]
1.1 April 2009Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre, Brazil Peru
2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
2.18 June 2009Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria, South Africa United States
2009 FIFA Confederations Cup








  1. "Inter submit squad for UEL group stages". Inter Milan. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  2. "Mallorca apresenta Felipe Melo e libera sérvio" [Mallorca present Felipe Melo and release Serbian] (in Portuguese). Terra. EFE. 27 January 2005. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  3. Acedo, Francisco. "Melo blow for Mallorca". Sky Sports. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  4. Llamas, Fernando (22 December 2005). "El Racing también supera al Madrid para cerrar el año" [Racing also overcome Madrid to close the year]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  5. "Felipe Melo, primer refuerzo del Almería en Primera" [Felipe Melo, Almería's first signing in Primera]. Diario de Córdoba (in Spanish). EFE. 3 July 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  6. "Felipe Melo ficha por la Fiorentina". AS (in Spanish). 13 March 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
  7. "Fútbol sala para terminar". Almería. Archived from the original on 25 July 2009. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  8. "Felipe Melo: "Prego e picchio"". Goal.com (in Italian). TuttoSport. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  9. "Comunicato Stampa" (in Italian). ACF Fiorentina. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  10. "Comunicato Stampa" (in Italian). ACF Fiorentina. 4 July 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  11. "Juventus snare Felipe Melo". UEFA. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  12. "Official: Felipe Melo joins Juventus". Juventus F.C. Retrieved 14 July 2009.
  13. "Milano, 20 giugno 2004" (PDF). Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  14. "Agreement with ACF Fiorentina S.p.A. for the disposal of the player C. Zanetti" (PDF). Juventus. 10 August 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2009.
  15. Specchia, Francesco (13 December 2010). "Adriano vince il Bidone d'Oro 2010" [Adriano wins the 2010 Golden Bin] (in Italian). www.tuttomercatoweb.com. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  16. Felipe Melo Galatasaray’da (in Turkish)}. Galatasaray.org. Retrieved on 31 May 2012.
  17. "Agreement with Galatasaray for the disposal of the player Felipe Melo" (PDF). Juventus F.C. 22 July 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 June 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  18. "Felipe Melo de Carvalho'nun Juventus Football Club SPA'dan satın alma opsiyonlu olarak kiralanması hakkında" [Felipe Melo de Carval from Juventus Football Club SPA on loan with option to purchase]. Galatasaray (in Turkish). Turkish Public Disclosure System. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  19. Felipe Melo tattoo (speculation) turkish-football.com (English) accessed 29 May 2010
  20. Saved by 3 points Melo Galatasaray (Statement) habermonitor.com (Turkish w/ English option)
  21. "Juventus' Felipe Melo Galatasaray talks break down". ESPN FC.
  22. "Melo rejoins Galatasaray on loan". ESPNSoccernet. 14 August 2012.
  23. "KAP".
  24. "Felipe Melo vira goleiro, pega pênalti no último minuto e salva Galatasaray na Turquia". UOL Esporte.
  25. "Relazione finanziaria annuale al 30 giugno 2014" (PDF) (in Italian). Juventus F.C. 2 October 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 October 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  26. "Felipe Melo joins Galatasaray" (in Turkish). Sky Sports. 20 July 2013. Retrieved July 2013. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  27. "KAP".
  28. "Felipe Melo Galatasaray formasıyla 100. maçına çıkacak". Eurosport Turkish Edition (in Turkish). 2 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  29. https://www.kap.org.tr/tr/Bildirim/460875
  30. "Melo maç sonunda şoke etti!". AMK (in Turkish). 3 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  31. http://www.inter.it/en/news/48883/felipe-melo-joins-inter
  32. Galatasaray (1 September 2015). "Felipe Melo De Carvalho – Transfer" (in Turkish). Turkish Public Disclosure System (KAP). Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  33. "Official: Felipe Melo to Inter – Football Italia".
  34. "Multicampeão, Felipe Melo assina com o Palmeiras até o fim de 2019" (in Portuguese). Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  35. "Felipe Melo al Palmeiras" [Felipe Melo to Palmeiras] (Press release) (in Italian). F.C. Internazionale Milano. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  36. Dawkes, Phil (18 June 2009). "USA 0-3 Brazil". BBC Sport.
  37. Dawkes, Phil (28 June 2009). "US 2-3 Brazil". BBC Sport.
  38. "Brazil's Felipe Melo sent off for stamping". Retrieved 2 July 2010.
  39. "Melo abused by fans as Brazil return". ESPN Soccernet. 4 July 2010. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  40. "Inter's title hopes spurred by bullish Melo and Medel". La Gazzetta dello Sport. 21 September 2015. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  41. "Felipe Melo: My time will come again". FIFA. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  42. "Medel e Melo simboli della nuova Inter: tanta corsa e sacrificio al servizio della squadra". Goal.com (in Italian). 21 September 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  43. Rob Hughes (2 July 2010). "A Sure Thing? Not in This World Cup". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  44. Paul Sumeet (27 September 2015). "Felipe Melo happy to do Inter dirty work". La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  45. "Inter: Mancini richiama Felipe Melo". Calciomercato.com (in Italian). 29 June 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  46. "Icardi? No, è l'Inter di Melo e Medel". calciomercato.com (in Italian). 21 September 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  47. Ben Gladwell (4 September 2015). "Inter Milan midfielder Felipe Melo accepts he is a 'nasty player'". ESPN FC. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  48. No ritmo do assobio da família, Felipe Melo se garante na seleção. Globoesporte.globo.com. Retrieved on 31 May 2012.
  49. , The Guardian online, 9 September 2015
  50. [permanent dead link]
  51. "Felipe Melo desabafa contra jornalista: "corno mais famoso da imprensa"". Terra. 18 June 2013.
  52. "Chamado de "corno", comentarista entra com processo contra Felipe Melo". Terra. 12 August 2013.
  53. Koray DURKAL (3 June 2014). "Melo'nun Las Vegas'ta 'şampiyon Fener' kavgası".
  54. Felipe Melo declara apoio a Bolsonaro em 2018 e critica "vagabundos"
  55. Felipe Melo faz vídeo parabenizando os trabalhadores brasileiros e diz: "Bolsonaro neles"
  56. "Felipe Melo faz homenagem a Jair Bolsonaro após gol da vitória" [Felipe Melo makes homage to Jair Bolsonaro after winning goal]. Lance! (in Portuguese). 17 October 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  57. "Melo, Felipe". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  58. "FELIPE MELO DE CARVALHO". Turkish Football Federation. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  59. "Felipe Melo de Carvalho". Mackolik.com. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  60. "Felipe Melo: Club matches". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  61. "Seleção Brasileira (Brazilian National Team) 2008–2009". RSSSFbrasil.com. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  62. "Felipe Melo's games". National-football-teams.com.
  64. "Com cinco jogadores e Carille, campeão Corinthians é base da seleção do Paulistão" [With five players and Carille, champion Corinthians is the baseline of the Paulistão team of the year]. Globo Esporte (in Portuguese). 8 May 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  65. "Com domínio do Palmeiras, Seleção é premiada recheada de finalistas" [With prevalence of Palmeiras, Best XI is awarded full of finalists] (in Portuguese). Federação Paulista de Futebol. 9 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.