Erik ten Hag’s obsession with success has both surprised and impressed Manchester United midfielder Casemiro.
The Brazil international moved to United from Real Madrid as part of Ten Hag’s spending spree heading into his first season Old Trafford, joining compatriot Antony in making the move to England.
Casemiro has made an impression at United already, and the same is the case for the 30-year-old when it comes to the former Ajax coach.
A mainstay of Madrid’s midfield for much of the last decade, Casemiro has won the Champions League five times and LaLiga on three occasions, but acknowledged he has been taken aback by Ten Hag’s will to win.
“After being in football for quite a while even though I’m only 30, his obsession for winning is what surprised me the most,” he said in a press conference ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash against Real Sociedad.
“I think he’s got many strengths, we all know it’s a process and we’re growing together. We want to win and he is obsessed with teaching us and making us better to the millimetre.
“That obsession with winning is something I’ve only seen with very few managers.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 2, 2022
Ten Hag was equally positive about Casemiro’s growing impact at United.
“He told me he needs a new challenge because at Real Madrid he won everything,” he said.
“He was a big part at Real Madrid and they didn’t want him to go but he had the feeling ‘I have to go to another club, another league to prove myself and that shows his hunger. I really like that.
“From the first day he has come with that attitude in every training, every match and I really like it. He will be more and more important to our team.”
Casemiro is set to be a key figure for Brazil at the upcoming World Cup, though he is putting any thought of the tournament to one side for now.
“This game is too important to start thinking about the World Cup,” Casemiro said when asked if he was concerned about sustaining an injury prior to travelling to Qatar with his national team.
“I think any player who thinks like that will pick up an injury at the end. I’m focussing on the game.”
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