Is this the End for Casemiro in Brazil Colours?

Casemiro for Brazil
Casemiro for Brazil (PC: X)

The ongoing season has turned out to be a nightmare for Casemiro, and the latest indignity was being left out of Brazil’s squad for the upcoming Copa America tournament, starting June 20, 2024. At club level, for Manchester United, it has been a hot-and-cold season for the Brazilian. But he will not add to his  75 Brazil caps this summer, which included Copa America glory in 2019.

According to The Athletic, Dorival Junior, Brazil’s manager, said: “Casemiro deserves respect from all of us. Three months ago, I told him what I expected of him. He knows very well what I think of him. I will contact him tomorrow and explain what the future may hold. He’s a player who deserves consideration and we continue to see him as a player at this level.”

The 32-year-old United midfielder has endured a difficult season and that has raised doubts over whether he is still capable of competing at the top level for club and country. After securing a move from Real Madrid to the Red Devils for a total fee of £70 million ($87m) in 2022, Casemiro had a decent first season. But this season, the veteran midfielder has been exposed a number of times.

Struggle at Manchester United

The five-time UEFA Champions League winner appears to be past his best and is currently a shadow of the player he used to be. Last week, Crystal Palace thrashed United 4-0 in London, and Michael Olise made him look silly. Against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, he struggled to keep up with the pace of the game as Nicholas Jackson raced towards the United area with ease.

Against Liverpool, the arch-rivals, Alexis Mac Allister dragged him all over the pitch and, as a result, he lost the ball on 16 occasions. Casemiro also managed the lowest pass-completion rate (67%) in that game. Apart from his defensive-midfield position, he has been used as a centre-back on numerous occasions this season.

But the way Erik ten Hag has organised his United team, it demands a lot of running from each player. At this stage of his career, Casemiro has struggled to cope with that, and that might have gone against him when it came to the national team selection.

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Casemiro struggling vs Crystal Palace
Casemiro struggling vs Crystal Palace (PC: X)

Huge dip in Impact both in team play and defence for the United

Impact on Team Play

Casemiro's impact on Team Play
Casemiro’s impact on Team Play (Source: EPL Website)

Casemiro has failed to create big chances on a regular basis though his cross accuracy has improved from last season. But the lack of through balls and accurate long balls shows that the Brazilian has not managed to get involved or make any such significant contribution so far in United’s attack. 

Impact on Defence

Casemiro's impact in Defence
Casemiro’s impact on Defence (Source: EPL Website)

As a defensive midfielder, Casemiro’s first job is to make successful tackles, and in terms of percentage, he has improved so far from last season. But the concern is regarding the interceptions and winning duels and aerial duels in midfield. To control the midfield in a game, Casemiro needs to be top of his game when it comes to winning duels. But, he has struggled to intercept and, physically also, opposition players have edged him out in midfield. 

Injury woes

From 2020 to 2023, he missed only nine games for the club and country. Then, due to a knock, he missed 17 games from October 13, 2023, to Jan 4, 2024. But after that, the Brazilian midfielder has failed to get back his mojo.

Casemiro for Manchester United
Casemiro for Manchester United (PC: X)

What’s next for Casemiro?

Casemiro last played for the Selecao in October 2023. In the latest two friendlies against England and Spain in March 2024, he was not in the squad. Whether he will wear that famous yellow jersey again or not, only time will tell, but Casemiro’s games at the top level might be numbered as he is reportedly being linked with a permanent move to the Saudi Pro League.

As per reports, a reunion with his former Real Madrid teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo, might be on the cards as Al-Nassr have already held initial talks with the Brazilian’s agent. The reports also claimed the Saudi Arabian side are ready to try a bid of around €40m and would be prepared to offer the player a three-year contract.  

Full Brazil squad for Copa America 2024

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Bento, Ederson

Defenders: Beraldo, Eder Militao, Gabriel Magalhaes, Marquinhos, Danilo, Yan Couto, Guilherme Arana, Wendell

Midfielders: Andreas Pereira, Bruno Guimaraes, Douglas Luiz, Joao Gomez, Lucas Paqueta

Forwards: Endrick, Evanilson, Gabriel Martinelli, Raphinha, Rodrygo, Savinho, Vinicius Jr.

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