Doha (Qatar), Nov 29 (IANS) Brazil’s star Neymar termed Casemiro as “the best midfielder in the world” following another talismanic performance by the Manchester United footballer for Brazil in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The 30-year-old Casemiro scored a sensational winning goal in Brazil’s 1-0 victory over Switzerland to secure their qualification to the World Cup knockout stages.
Casemiro’s delicious finish in the 83rd minute was applauded by a group of attending Brazil icons and former tournament winners, including Cafu, Roberto Carlos, and the incomparable Ronaldo.
Neymar was watching the action from outside while recovering from an ankle injury that he sustained on matchday one.
A delighted Neymar tweeted, “Casemiro has been the best midfielder in the world for a long time.”
Later, Brazil manager Tite was asked for his opinion on Neymar’s claim and he couldn’t help but agree:
“As a habit, I always respect opinions. I usually don’t comment but I will allow myself to do so today. I agree,” Tite was quoted as saying on Manchester United’s official website.
Tite’s assistant Cesar Sampaio, who played at the 1998 World Cup, added: “Casemiro manages in front of the back four and acts as the first screen. He can also shoot from mid-range distances, which makes a key difference in that position.”
In typical fashion, Casemiro was quick to play down his goal and influence when speaking to the media after the win over Switzerland.
“I scored but it is important to have assisted the whole team. When we win, we win together, when we lose, we lose together. It doesn’t change my mindset. This is a group, the Brazil national team as players, we must play as a group. That is most important to get the title.”
Asked about his role in the team, the United midfielder said, “It is very clear that my very first objective is to support the team and bring equilibrium. I need to support the players at the back and put out fires wherever they may be.
“When you are playing against a defensive opponent, we must feel what is happening. My first duty is defensive but if there is an opportunity to take the kick on goal, that can be important too.”