Casemiro declared he is “raring to go” after completing his £60million (€70m) move to Manchester United, while describing the Premier League as “a dream to play in”.
The Brazil enforcer became United’s fourth major signing of the transfer window on Monday, following Christian Eriksen, Tyrell Malacia and Lisandro Martinez to Old Trafford after ending a nine-year spell with Real Madrid.
The five-time Champions League winner was in the stands to watch United pick up their first win of the season against Liverpool, as Erik ten Hag’s side inflicted the Reds’ first league defeat of 2022.
Casemiro could hardly contain his excitement when speaking to the club’s media channels for the first time since his arrival.
“I felt great affection from the moment I arrived and I think it’s a new challenge. I’m absolutely delighted,” Casemiro said. “I feel like I’m 20 or 18 years of age! I’m raring to go.
“I feel it’s a great challenge and a new challenge for me, so I want to work hard to make it happen.
“I played in a competition here when I was 15 at Sao Paulo. You come back here to play for Manchester United and not in your wildest dreams would you imagine yourself playing here. I’m the happiest man alive and I can’t wait to get on the pitch and help my team-mates.
“The Premier League is a dream to play in. It’s a wonderful league. The respect that fans have for players, the players have for fans, the passion of the clubs… when you go from the airport to the city, you feel that the city has football in the air.
“More than a city, I feel it’s a footballing nation. I think English football is very physical and without doubt, it’s very tough, but what I like most about the players, referees, fans in this country is that they are fair. Everyone is fair.
“Every game is very tough. All of the teams are equally matched, the top team can lose to the bottom one and that’s what the league is like. It’s beautiful that it is so competitive.”
Casemiro will find several familiar faces in United’s squad, chief among them Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane, who both featured alongside the Brazilian in one of the most successful teams in Madrid’s history.
The 30-year-old revealed he leaned on Varane for advice before making the move, as he hailed Ronaldo as one of the all-time greats.
“They are two players that I’ve had the pleasure of playing alongside,” he added. “We could spend all day talking about Cristiano, he’s one of the best players in the history of football.
“With Varane, and all his time at Real Madrid, I think we spent seven years together. So it’s an honour to play once again with these players, but not just these guys, I’m looking forward to meeting my new team-mates, to helping them and them helping me to.
“I’ve spoken to Rapha, he tells me he’s happy, his family is very happy in Manchester, and I feel Manchester United have a great centre-back in him.
“As we know, Cristiano is up there as one of the best players in the history of football and I think he’ll keep achieving things.”
Meanwhile, Casemiro will also team up with Brazil international Fred in the Premier League, and he has no doubts over the ability of his fellow Selecao midfielder.
“Well, before coming here I spoke to Fred, he’s a friend who I’ve played alongside in the national team for a good number of games and years,” he said.
“He’s a great player and that’s why he plays for Manchester United and for the Brazilian national team, which is difficult to get into. So, I have a special relationship with him.
“Of course, he’s a great player. Fred has a lot of qualities. I think he’s a player that has good movement, he’s very mobile, passes the ball well, has a good shot on him. He’s a very important player at this club and I think he’ll help me a great deal as he’s Brazilian. Without a doubt, it’s important to me.”
Having not been registered in time to feature in the win over Liverpool, Casemiro could make his United debut when they visit Southampton on Saturday.
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