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Casemiro: “I realised my time at Real Madrid was ending after the Champions League final”

The player said goodbye to the club and explained the timeline of his transfer.

Real Madrid CF Training Session And Press Conference - UEFA Super Cup Final 2022 Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

With Casemiro’s transfer to Manchester United made official at the end of last week, the Brazilian had his official farewell at Valdebebas on Monday. In front of all the trophies he won during his Real Madrid career, Casemiro was thanked by president Florentino Pérez and then the midfielder gave an emotional speech of his own.

After overcoming the tears, Casemiro said: “As you know, I don’t like to be the centre of attention. You’ll surely understand that I’m speaking from the heart today. When I arrived here, I didn’t know anyone in what was a new country. But, we built a life here. The titles I’ve won were achieved with the help of my family, the club, the president, José Ángel Sánchez, Ramón Martínez, the coaches and my teammates. Of all my teammates, I can’t not highlight Luka Modrić and Toni Kroos. With them, I’ve enjoyed football so much. Thanks also to the fans, for those special nights. I’m sure that all I’ve learned here will help me to continue my career at another great club, at Manchester United. Thanks again. Hala Madrid!”

Casemiro on his decision to leave Real Madrid

After his speech, Casemiro then took part in a press conference with the media and he discussed a number of aspects of his transfer in more detail. This included an explanation of why he has decided to leave, and the fact that this wasn’t something that happened just in the past week. As the player stated: “After the Champions League final I spoke with my agent and we had the sense that my time here was coming towards an end. My agent told me to go on holiday and relax and then we spoke again after a month and I still had this feeling that my cycle here was coming to an end. When the news came out then the transfer went quickly, but we’d already had these conversations. It was very difficult to speak about this with the president, but I think being honest is one of my great values. I was always honest in these conversations.”

Casemiro on the finances of the transfer

It was put to Casemiro that there is a theory he is moving just for money, but he dismissed that suggestion. He replied: “Those who think that don’t know me. I’m not like that. If it was for money, then I could have left four or five years ago. The club always acted well with me. It was my decision. It was simply the feeling that my cycle here had come to an end. This was clear to me.”

Casemiro on his Real Madrid legacy

Reflecting on all that he has achieved at the club, he said: “I feel very happy about all I achieved here. When I left São Paulo in January of 2013, I told myself I had to give my all for this club, in games and in training. I’ve tried to do that. I always slept well because I know I gave my all.”

Casemiro on Toni Kroos’ message

During the press conference, he also revealed that Toni Kroos messaged him in the middle of the night about the rumours. He explained: “Toni sent me a message at 4am asking if I was actually leaving. I think it’s because he wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t sleep. So, I told him to at least let me sleep! He and Modrić are both my friends and they’re great people. It’s easy to play with the two of them, as I don’t have as much work when I line up alongside them.”

Casemiro on his time at Castilla

The player has always maintained that he feels like a Real Madrid academy graduate because of the time he spent with the B team and he spoke about that in his farewell, saying: “I started at Castilla and that was very important for me because I learned the values of the academy, which is the most important thing about this club for me. The academy is the future of the club. I’ve won a lot of titles, but the most important honour was coming here to train at Valdebebas every day.”

Casemiro on Tchouaméni and Camavinga

The midfielder was asked about Aurélien Tchouaméni and Eduardo Camavinga and if he thinks they’re ready to replace him. He replied: “I think Real Madrid always sign the best players. Don’t forget about Fede Valverde too, as I think he is a player for the next 10 or 12 years. Plus, Modrić and Kroos will continue for a while. As for the others, Camavinga already showed us last year that he can be a great player for Real Madrid. I’m sure Tchouaméni will have a lot of people to help him. He’s a starter for France, which is impressive. So, I think Real Madrid have good players for the future. This club will always keep winning.”

Casemiro on the Premier League

Looking ahead, he spoke about the challenges that lie ahead with Manchester United. He told the assembled media: “The Premier League is a competition I’ve always liked and always wanted to play in. What I’m looking for is to have a new challenge, a new league and a new culture. It’s true that they’re not in the Champions League right now, but I’m excited. I haven’t spoken with Cristiano Ronaldo yet, but I’m excited to play with him again. I’m so keen to get started, with the biggest club in England. If it was up to me, I’d play for them already tonight against Liverpool. But, I know I haven’t won anything there yet.”

Casemiro on the World Cup

With the World Cup coming up, he was asked if this move will affect his preparation and if he had spoken to Tite yet. To that, he said: “I haven’t spoken to him, there’s no need. Everyone in the Brazilian national team knows me and know the player I am. I’ll keep working and I’m thinking about Manchester United first and foremost, although the World Cup is also on the horizon too.”

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