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Casemiro: “For me, Valverde is a number 8, not a number 5”

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Real Madrid’s midfielder praises his teammate and explains his potential.

Real Madrid midfielder Carlos Henrique Casemiro gave an interview to Spanish magazine Libero months ago and the outlet published his thoughts on Federico Valverde today. Casemiro praised his teammate and explained why he sees him as a central midfielder and not as a defensive midfielder.

“I said before that I thought that Valverde would be one of the best number 8 in the world of football in just two years time but I believe I was wrong because he’s achieving it sooner. He’s completing a brilliant season and has been one of our most important players and he’s improving every day, every match,” says Casemiro.

Valverde has become a key starter for Zinedine Zidane after his brilliant performances during the first half of the season. His intensity on and off the ball and his work rate have been very valuable for Madrid.

“What I like the most about him is that he’s a person who likes to listen, he’s very calm even though he played great during those games,” he added.

Casemiro was asked about whether he thinks Valverde could eventually become a number 5 for Real Madrid. The Brazilian midfielder explained what he sees in Fede.

“In my opinion, no. For me, he’s more of a number 8, not a 5. His ability to shoot the ball, his work rate and physicality allow him to be a box to box player, which is unbelievable. That’s why I think he’s an 8. That doesn’t mean he can’t play as a defensive midfielder because he’s good enough to play in every position in the midfield, but I believe his main position would be as a number 8 where he could both work offensively and defensively,” concluded Casemiro.

Valverde has been the one player replacing Casemiro when the Brazilian midfielder hasn’t been available, and while he has played well as a defensive midfielder, it’s true that his best games have happened alongside Toni Kroos.