Casemiro is well known for his sh*thouse antics and he played every trick in the book during Manchester United’s Europa League trip to Camp Nou in midweek.
Facing Barcelona is a fixture that Casemiro revels in. After all, it was often his personal mission to keep Lionel Messi quiet during the countless El Clasico matches he featured in.
The Brazilian midfielder has so often proven to be the perfect antidote to Barcelona’s tiki-taka football and his record against the Catalan club backs this up.
Across his 21 appearances against Barcelona, Casemiro has won nine, drawn six and lost just six. Not bad going for the former Real Madrid ace.
Casemiro has obviously impacted things on the pitch at Old Trafford; you only have to look at their record without him this season to realise just how important he is.
Perhaps the biggest impact the Brazilian has had with the Red Devils though has been through his infectious winning mentality. Casemiro will go to extreme lengths if it means getting the win.
The 30-year-old was arguably at fault for Barcelona’s second goal on the night as his stray pass was pounced upon and smartly finished by Raphinha, but Casemiro didn’t let this deter him.
It was his job to keep the likes of Pedri and Gavi quiet in the middle and he did so with his usual swagger. The young Barca duo only created one chance between them as Casemiro was constantly snapping at their heels.
Only Aaron Wan-Bissaka had more touches than Casemiro did for Man United as he set the tempo for Erik ten Hag’s side in the middle.
His best moment of the night came when he was up against Gavi inside his own half. He expertly manoeuvred out of a tight spot before delivering the most ice-cold smirk of all time.
Carlos Henrique José Francisco Venancio CASEMIRO pic.twitter.com/UN4YiKoQDn
— Rubén Cañizares (@Ruben_Canizares) February 16, 2023
Prior to Thursday’s clash with Barcelona, Ten Hag revealed just how impressed he has been with Casemiro and the overall impact he has had on the squad.
“We know he’s a great player and that midfield at Real Madrid, with Kroos and Modric, it was great,” the manager told the club website. “He’s capable of that [scoring goals].
“We see him as a part of it offensively and he enjoys it as well, when he can come [into] it. What I like is dynamic football with variations, with many positional switches so we have to make the opponent think so that we can take the benefit of it.
“Casemiro is magnificent. In front of the back line, always taking good positions, in and out of position. And he can deal with the ball, he can give the right pass. So, he can accelerate the game and if necessary, he can score.”
Playing on the edge is what makes Casemiro so great and we can’t get enough of his ice-cold smirks.