Casemiro on Inter Milan, Sergio Ramos and the role of the defensive midfielder ahead of return of the Champions League

Real Madrid will be pleased to welcome Casemiro back to action on Wednesday evening as they gear up to face Inter Milan at the San Siro in the Champions League. The Brazilian has missed Madrid’s last two games after testing positive for COVID-19.

Speaking with UEFA’s official channels and carried by Marca, the 28 year-old touched on the previous battle with Inter Milan, the importance of captain Sergio Ramos and the role of the defensive midfielder in the modern game.

Los Blancos beat Inter in a thrilling game in Madrid before the international break 3-2, a crucial result for Zinedine Zidane‘s side in what’s been a less-than-stellar opening to the season.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game but mentally we were very strong and focused on victory,” Casemiro said. “And then Rodrygo confirmed it with a goal.

“The mental work and concentration that we maintained throughout the whole match were very important. We’re aware that there is still a long way to go, but that victory was very important.”

Real Madrid news in recent times has been dominated by the contractual situation of Sergio Ramos. Their captain’s deal expires in the summer and paper talk has linked him with a potential move to Paris Saint-Germain.

“Sergio is a leader in the dressing room and on the field,” Casemiro said. “It’s a pleasure to have shared all these years with him. What he’s doing now is writing his name in the club’s history books.

“He’s a player who never gives up. He always wants to fight and he always wants to win. He pushes the team forward, and he’s a leader and a role model for us.”

Casemiro also touched on the role of the defensive midfielder in the modern game, and how the position has evolved to become pivotal over recent years.

“I always say that a footballer, whatever his age, is going to learn something new every day, even if it’s small details,” he said. “The role of the defensive midfielder was quite common in the past, especially in Brazil.

“We had a lot of players, like Mauro Silva, Gilberto Silva and Dunga, who felt comfortable playing that number five role, as we say in Brazil. That ceased to exist, but now it’s returning because formations themselves have changed.

“Today we’ve returned to the old formation where the full-backs are coming up high and then backing away, and the defensive midfielder plays a vital role in this. He provides balance and must keep an eye on the other players and fill any gaps they leave. The defensive midfielder is the centre of everything in the midfield and is essential for any team.”

Casemiro has certainly become essential for Real Madrid. The Brazilian joined the club in 2013 from Sao Paulo, the club with which he began his career.

Aside from a brief loan spell with Porto, Casemiro has settled in spectacularly at the Santiago Bernabeu and become one of Madrid and Brazil’s biggest players.

Los Blancos currently sit third in Champions League Group B, trailing Borussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk and just ahead of Inter.

Featured image courtesy of PSG Talk.

Tags Casemiro Champions League La Liga Real Madrid