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Casemiro: “It was an honor to play for Castilla”

Casemiro spoke to Libero magazine about the importance of playing for Castilla prior to making the jump to the first team

Real Madrid CF v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga Photo by Victor Carretero/Real Madrid via Getty Images

Carlos Henrique Casemiro is one of the most indispensable pieces to the Real Madrid starting XI. In fact, there is no direct replacement for the Brazilian and his unique skill set. Though, Casemiro’s path to the first team was not linear. He chose a path that is now being used more and more by the club and by many of his compatriots (Rodyrgo, Vinicius Junior, and potentially Reiner Jesus).

Casemiro first joined Real Madrid from Sao Paulo as a 21-year-old during the winter transfer market of 2013. He had the opportunity to train with the first team, but played with Real Madrid Castilla during his initial first 6 months at the club. In an interview with Libero magazine, he credited the period with Castilla as being crucial to his development and adaptation to Spain and the club.

“I always say that, for me, it was a pleasure and a very great honor because I really enjoyed playing for Castilla,” the Brazilian explained to Libero magazine.

”I got to know the values of this club. I was travelling on the bus to Sabadell, getting to know the other side of football, and different areas of Spain.”

“People always speak about Real Madrid, but getting to know the other side of football and being on a bus for a long time, I got to know the club’s values — how the academy players and staff are and how they are under pressure because of the football played by the first team,” he concluded.

During those first six months, Casemiro got to make his debut under Jose Mourinho against Real Betis in the Bernabeu. He was then promoted to the first team the next season under Carlo Ancelotti. He played well when given the opportunity, but minutes were hard to come by with Xabi Alonso, Luka Modric, Di Maria, Khedira, and Illaramendi all in front of him within the pecking order. A loan abroad to Lopetegui’s Porto catapulted his progress and the following season (2015-2016), Casemiro became an undisputed starter for Real Madrid. A similar path could be forged by someone like Reiner Jesus, who is expected to sign for Real Madrid in the coming days and play the rest of the season with Real Madrid Castilla. If Casemiro’s words are to be believed, than it will most certainly not be a detriment to his progression and development.

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