Creative Soccer Culture

Casemiro Talks Success, Manchester United & Joining adidas

Few players in the world can compete with the trophy cabinet of Casemiro. The combative midfielder has won it all at Real Madrid, and now he’s 18 months into a new challenge at Manchester United. Here, we find out more about the decision to switch white for red as well as the Swoosh for the Three Stripes.

Casemiro is a tough-tackling, no-nonsense midfielder. He almost feels like a throwback to midfielders of yesteryear like Roy Keane and Patrick Viera, and like the former, he now holds sway in the Red Devils’ midfield. But when you’ve won pretty much all there is to win at club level, where does the motivation for a new challenge come from? We got down to that, as well as his recent decision to join adidas and a whole lot more when we sat down with the Brazilian recently. 

You’ve been in England for nearly 18 months now. How are finding it?

I feel fantastic, really good. From the very first day I felt really happy with the way the club and the way that the fans have treated me. It’s been spectacular the way things have gone. I feel very thankful to the city and to the fans for the way they’ve treated me, you know, I feel really at home and really relaxed in what’s almost been one and a half years that I've been here now, so I feel at home.

Have you had a chance to get out and explore Manchester at all? Or even other parts of the country?

To be honest I’m more of a stay at home guy. I like to spend a lot of time at home so I haven't really explored or visited that many places, but I've been to various restaurants and things like this. But wherever I go in this city I have always been really warmly welcomed. But to be honest I like to be at home with my family and just be relaxed.

What was it about Old Trafford and Manchester United that captivated you?

What I loved and what I wanted to do in coming here was to enjoy this atmosphere and this energy that you get here from the stadium, from spectators. To be honest, when I came here I was surprised at how much they supported us at times. It's not just about the home support as well, but when you're playing away from home as well, you get the support from the fans and it's really surprised me; you might be losing and they support you even more in those moments. So it shows that they are with us, that the club are with us and that was the most surprising thing that I found when I came here.

The club has a rich history. How much do you want to be part of the legacy and do you feel more pressure to deliver there compared to other clubs?

When we talk about pressure, It's always going to be great. But you notice that here the club, the city have the willingness and that wish to continue to win, to continue to grow. Now we’re in a process of growing and that's what we need to do, we need to continue growing throughout this process. But you know when I think back to the teams I’ve played for, I’ve played for Real Madrid, I’ve played for the Brazilian national team. So this pressure, you know, it's completely normal now for me.

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On a club level you’ve pretty much won all there is to win with Real Madrid. How do you stay motivated to succeed?

Yes, that's the key, the key to me coming here to Manchester United. I’d won everything at Real Madrid and I wanted to try something different, to try winning in a new place and learning. So I think from the first day I came here I wanted to continue to learn, to continue to help my teammates and that's the key objective that I have right now.

In what has already been a glittering career, what’s been the highlight for you?

It’s not so much about highlights at this stage for me. Right now it's about leaving a legacy for other players who are coming through, leaving that history and that desire to continue wanting to win. At the moment it's about learning to grow and trying to help people that are coming through the next level. It's about leaving that legacy. One day I’ll look back on my highlights, but not yet.

You’ve obviously won the Copa America in 2019 with Brazil, but how much would success at the World Cup mean to you personally and the country as a whole?

Obviously to win the Copa America was hugely satisfying. It was complete happiness in terms of my emotions because it had been a long time since Brazil had won a competition. So it was really important for us to win the competition in Brazil. Then in terms of the World Cup, it would obviously be wonderful to win it, but we all know how difficult competition is. It demands the maximum level out of players and teams and you need to be perfect and things need to happen and coincide at the perfect moment in terms of the teams and the players. So it's only really seven games that you get to play and there are lots of things that can happen in that. Obviously it's the dream of any player to win the World Cup and it's still a dream of mine.

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Your move from Madrid to Manchester was a big one, and now you’ve made another big switch in your career, signing with adidas. What convinced you that they were the right brand for you?

Well, it's something I've been thinking about and I've wanted for a long time, really. It's been years in the making. I was an adidas club in Real Madrid and I saw the affection that they showed towards the players there. So for me it was a really easy choice to make. Now I want to enjoy being here, want to help, and see what I can bring to this adidas this team. I just want them to also know that whenever they need me I’m here for them and they don't have to doubt at any point that whatever they require from me then I’ll happily oblige.

You’re opting for the Predator – what was it about that boot that drew you in?

First and foremost it's about comfort. It's an incredibly comfortable boot. It's a boot that fits perfectly to your to your foot. I tried all of the different models and while they all felt good the one that really made me feel complete comfort was the Predator 24 boot.

The return of the fold-over tongue has obviously grabbed a lot of attention. What players spring to mind for you when you think of the past Predators?

When I think of those boots a player that springs to mind is Zinedine Zidane. That was boot that you saw him wear a lot. You know, as a kid I wanted to have that boot, but I wasn't able to buy it due to the amount it would cost to buy it. But it was a brand that I always associated with him and also another player was Kaka who used to wear those boots as well. They’re two of the players that I remember looking at and watching when I was when I was younger starting out in football.

Outside of football, how do you fill your time?

I like to spend time with my family –  I like to play with my kids, I like to play computer games as well. And I also like to watch football as well: Any game that's on, you know, I watch football every single game that's on, anytime throughout the whole day. I also like to watch basketball as well, but not much more. In the end pretty much all the top players do the same things: they train, they eat, they sleep – they could be considered to people quite boring! So for my downtime I enjoy spending it pretty much at home.

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I’d won everything at Real Madrid and I wanted to try something different, to try winning in a new place and learning."

What inspires you, both in terms of your football but also in your life as a whole?

That’s a difficult question to answer… I think always as a footballer you want to learn new things and I think that's also something that goes into life as well. You're always looking to learn new things, and when I go out on to the pitch I want to be the best player, I want to play as well as I can and get more minutes and to grow and to evolve. I think continual quest for improvement is what inspires me.

Manchester United have just unveiled a new collaboration with Stone Roses. What’s your view on these types of collections and modern football culture as a whole?

I think it's great. It brings something…these collaborations bring extra things, they open doors, not just doors in terms of football but in terms of other cultures as well. So I love these kinds of collaborations and I think it also brings more fans in as well. It gives more exposure and brings in more fans, which I think is also important for the brand.

Who’s the best player you’ve ever played with, and who’s the best player you’ve ever played against?

That’s very easy – Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi. So I've never played with Messi, but I’ve obviously played alongside Cristiano and I faced Messi many times. They are both wonderful footballers.

What one stadium in the world would you like to play at that you haven’t had the opportunity to so far? Why?

I've had the pleasure of playing in most of the most beautiful stadiums in the world, so that’s tough…but if I had to choose a stadium to play in, I don't know the name of the stadium, but it would be whatever stadium stages the World Cup final next year, because it would mean that I would have the pleasure of being there.

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Casemiro wears the adidas Predator 24, which you can pick up at

Daniel Jones

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