After over a decade hacking and slashing his way around Europe, Felipe Melo moved back home to Brazil last week by way of a three-year contract with Palmeiras.
The midfielder joins on an initial six-month loan from Inter Milan, which will automatically turn into a permanent move when his contract with the Nerazzurri expires this coming July.
Having made his name as something of a volatile loose cannon over the years, Melo was keen to dispel his ‘hard man’ image at his introductory press conference.
According to Globo Esportes, the 33-year-old told the room:
The story being told that I am violent is created by the media. In the last four or five years, I have only received four red cards. For a midfielder who is accustomed to doing dirty work, that is very little.
But if I have to slap an Uruguayan, I will. If I have to beat someone up, I’ll beat them up.
Ah, and he was doing so well there too.
At this juncture, it should perhaps be noted that one of Melo’s last red cards for Inter came for studding an opponent in the throat…
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) December 20, 2015
Still, we’re sure he’s an entirely reformed character these days.