Man Utd player fell short against Messi

Photo of Messi and Casemiro

The El Clasico games involving Real Madrid and Barcelona often showcase multiple narratives, with the confrontations between ex-Camp Nou legend Lionel Messi and a former Los Blancos star standing out as especially significant.

Casemiro, a standout player for Manchester United, was identified as the crucial element Real Madrid utilized to counter Lionel Messi’s threat during his time with Barcelona.

Functioning as a defensive midfielder, Casemiro played a pivotal role in the dominant Los Blancos squads that secured Champions League victories four times in the previous decade. However, their supremacy in La Liga faced continual challenges from their arch-rivals, Barcelona. Reflecting on this period, Madrid stalwart Federico Valverde underscored the intense battles with Barcelona, particularly highlighting the confrontations between former teammate Casemiro and the then-Barcelona talisman Messi.

Valverde, who shared the field with Casemiro from 2018 to 2022, conceded that Casemiro was frequently assigned the task of curtailing the influence of the legendary forward. When questioned about how to stop Messi before Uruguay’s World Cup qualifier against Argentina, Valverde admitted, “I don’t know how to do it. I could never stop him.” Despite Casemiro’s effectiveness as a defensive asset against Messi, Valverde recognized that their strategy did not consistently achieve success.

While Madrid’s efforts to mitigate Messi’s impact were not always fruitful, Casemiro’s contributions had a lasting impact on the Uruguayan player.

Throughout his successful tenure in Spain, the midfield powerhouse amassed nine victories, four draws, and six defeats in encounters against Barcelona across various competitions. In league fixtures, he contributed to five wins, three draws, and five defeats, playing a crucial role in his team’s dominance in head-to-head clashes.

Interestingly, despite holding a slightly superior head-to-head record and achieving success in the Champions League, Real Madrid faced challenges in replicating their European dominance on the domestic front during Casemiro’s time. Meanwhile, Messi led Barcelona to secure four La Liga titles in that period.

The mutual admiration between Casemiro and Messi is apparent, as Casemiro commends the undeniable impact of the Barcelona legend on the sport. In an interview with Placar, the Manchester United star expressed his appreciation for Messi’s era-defining influence and the pleasure of competing against him. Casemiro emphasized that Messi is a player one can only admire, acknowledging him not only as an opponent in Barcelona but also on the international stage with Argentina.

Further emphasizing his admiration for Messi, Casemiro included him in a trio alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar as the ‘three biggest stars’ of their generation. Reflecting on football greats of the past, such as Ronaldo Nazario and Zinedine Zidane, Casemiro highlighted Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar as the standout figures of his era. Additionally, he conveyed gratitude for not having faced Cristiano Ronaldo directly, recognizing Ronaldo’s crucial role in assisting him in securing numerous titles during his tenure with Real Madrid.


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