Brazil coach, Tite, has been retained even after a disappointing World Cup where the standards set by the canary and blue were immense. In a shake-up of the squad, Marcelo has been dropped and Vinciuis JR, although rumored to possibly be on the list, did not get a senior call up as well. Despite the shake-up, Casemiro has retained his status as an indisputable starter for Tite and the Brazil national team.
In the World Cup, Casemiro was partnered with Paulinho, Fernandinho, and on occasion Coutinho. Against the USA at MetLife stadium in NJ, Tite placed a midfield three of Casemiro—the lone holding defensive midfielder, flanked by Coutinho on the left and Fred of Manchester United on the right. Casemiro’s role was identical to his role with Real Madrid. Marshall just in front of the back four, impeding any counter attacks, and playing simple to the two ball playing center midfielders in front of him.
The number 5 executed his role to perfection. The US failed to properly press Casemiro thus he had time to switch play and find the next pass whenever in possession. Rarely was the enforcer forced to feel uncomfortable as Brazil cruised to a 2-0 victory courtesy of first half goals from Roberto Firmino and Neymar.
Julen Lopetegui may be wise to rest Casemiro in the La Liga return against Athletic Bilbao due to the heavy miles traveled from Europe to the US. The jet-lag certainly didn’t fatigue the Casemiro or the Brazil team as they looked strong throughout the match.