A fan-recorded video of Casemiro desperately trying to get back on the Old Trafford pitch during the Manchester derby is going viral.
Since his summer arrival from Real Madrid, the experienced Brazilian midfielder has become, in Erik ten Hag’s words, the “cement between the stones” for Manchester United.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s derby, Ten Hag praised his impact. “Defence, he knows his position,” he said. “He points others into position, winning balls, duels mainly, in possession. He can speed up the game.”
As well as his impact in midfield battles, Casemiro’s mentality and passion for the game has almost certainly rubbed off on his teammates.
Image credit: AlamyTake a moment in the second-half of Saturday’s derby, for example. Manchester City were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position but Casemiro, who had just received treated for an injury, was stood on the touchline.
As you can see in the footage below, the Brazilian tried and failed to get referee Stuart Attwell’s attention.
And moments later, in the heat of the moment, Casemiro raised his arms after the physio tugged him back towards the touchline.
Eventually, the 30-year-old sprinted as fast as he possibly could to get back into position. “Man Utd hit the jackpot with this guy,” said Twitter fan account UtdFaithfuls.
Here’s how social media reacted to the above clip.
One said: “A true professional. This type of player understands that every minute counts if you are serious about lifting any trophy,” while another commented: “This is exactly what we’ve been lacking in the team since SAF left. Now we are getting there, passionate players like this. Love this.”
A third wrote: “He understands every second is crucial against a top tier team. Teams like City can destroy you in seconds if you’re a man short.”
A fourth commented: “What a signing he’s been for us. Mentality monster.”
Casemiro’s desire to get United back to the top is clear. Back in August, during the club’s humiliating 4-0 defeat to Brentford, the Brazil international made his feelings clear.
Watching the game unfold from his home in the Spanish capital, then-Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro sent a message to his agent, saying: “Tell them I’ll fix this”.
That’s according to a report from The Telegraph, who go on to claim that shambolic performance at the Gtech Community Stadium only enhanced his desire to join United.
In fact, the Brazilian had become ‘fixated’ on the deal and soon, negotiations would accelerate when club officials from the Premier League side travelled to Madrid to complete a deal.
Over dinner, Los Blancos officials gave Casemiro a so-called ‘final chance’ to reconsider but he ultimately wanted to join Erik ten Hag’s project.
Thoughts on Casemiro’s impact at United? Let us know in the comments.