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A core aspect of every champion team is having a reliable shield to the backline. No matter how strong a back four is, it needs an agile defensive midfielder to take off some of the defensive workloads. Real Madrid has one of the best defensive midfielders in recent years and his lack of adequate mention shows how underrated he is.
Casemiro slots just in front of the defense of Real Madrid and is one of the best as doing the “dirty work”. He intercepts, wins duels, competes, makes tackles, and this helps others to express themselves better. Players who are very good at these sort of duties are quite rare as they give the team a proper balance.
Given Casemiro’s work for the team, it is not surprising that the Real Madrid team struggles without the Brazilian international. This is because Ramos and Varane are left exposed and the balls are easily flung in by the opponent into delicate spaces in and around the Real Madrid backline.
Zidane has tried using Toni Kroos in this role but it has barely worked out for them. Kroos controls the tempo of the game but he would assume the workload that Casemiro does. Kroos would hardly lunge into tough tackles as he doesn’t have the physicality of the Brazilian. He gets lost when is deployed in the defensive midfield role as he offers something different from what the role needs.
Another aspect of Casemiro’s game that is often overlooked is his importance to the attack. He takes full advantage of his physicality in the attack by winning balls even in an advanced position. Casemiro is a good outlet in set pieces for Real Madrid as he usually tucks in at the right position to win a duel which eventually gets the team in an advantageous situation. He is an excellent piece in Zinedine Zidane’s tactics.
Casemiro can also detect where the opposition danger is coming from and stop the threat. He has stood out in this task even against huge names such as Lionel Messi. Players like Casemiro are indispensable and deserves more mention.
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