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Lopetegui on Casemiro: “Apart from being a great player, he is a great guy”

The Sevilla coach reflected on the Brazilian’s progress today

FBL-EUR-C1-PORTO-PRESSER Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images

It may seem odd that a Sevilla manager would randomly be talking about a Real Madrid player in a press conference ahead of the Sevilla - Elche game tomorrow — but that’s exactly what happened. Julen Lopetegui was asked about Casemiro, who is a player that Lopetegui coached both at FC Porto and again at Real Madrid.

“I thank him very much,” Lopetegui answered. “But the growth and evolution of the players depend on themselves. We are here to help them. Apart from being a great player, he is a great guy.”

To be fair, the question posed to Lopetegui wasn’t completely random. It stems from a Casemiro interview just a few days ago in Panenka (full quotes here), where the Brazilian midfielder was full of praise for his former Porto manager.

“And there was also Porto, which honestly wasn’t in my plans,” Casemiro said in that interview. “I could choose. And I wanted minutes.

“Then Lopetegui called me, we talked for a quarter of an hour about his style of play and, I’ll tell you seriously, after three minutes I thought: ‘I have to work with him’. And the nicest thing is that I wasn’t wrong. Because what he did for my personal and professional growth was crazy. And to this day I thank him.”