Football

The Brazilian could really be a staple at Madrid for years to come..

Casemiro: The unsung galactico at Real Madrid

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In a team full of world-class names that only ever seems to get longer, there is always a need for the man that doesn't need to take all the plaudits. He doesn't need the underwear deals and he doesn't need to be the headline act, but when it comes down to it, there might not be a more important player to Real Madrid than Casemiro.

The Brazilian joined the club quietly back in 2013, and after a successful loan spell at FC Porto last season, he has come back to the Santiago Bernabeu to become a important cog in the Los Blancos machine.

He is the Yin to the team's Yang, the defender at the gate while everyone else seems to go on the offensive, and the one that seems to tie it all together.

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Balance has been an issue that Real had been struggling with for a number of seasons. Despite the amount of talent in their midfield area in the likes of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, they never had an anchor that allowed them to express themselves fully, while they were still shackled to track back further to help protect the defence.

In came the 24-year-old who slotted in perfectly.

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In La Liga this season, he made 3.6 tackles and two interceptions per game, showing that he is not afraid to do the dirty work. His efforts even changed the team's shape, pushing players like Isco and James Rodriguez to the bench and relegating new signing Mateo Kovacic into a bit-part player.

His real standout performance was in the Champions League final, where he almost seemed like a terminator in the middle of the pitch. Like an elite left-tackle in the NFL, he denied Atletico Madrid from landing any big hits on their defence, and swiftly denied any attacks that they began to build.

RC Deportivo La Coruna v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

He won six aerial duels, he made eight tackles, seven clearances, four blocks and had more touches than any other Real player on the park. Casemiro's tireless effort may have gone unnoticed to some, but his work rate laid the foundations that Zinedine Zidane's men used to win the European Cup for the eleventh time.

To say that the Brazilian is the footballing equivalent to a superhero is probably not pushing it enough. The man is the quiet savoir of Real Madrid, acting as a guardian and a dispenser of justice to anyone who seeks to harm them.

He may never get the acclaim he deserves, but Real fans and players alike, will hope he dons the Madrid cape for many years to come.

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Topics:
Zinedine Zidane
Gareth Bale
Karim Benzema
La Liga
UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid
Football
Cristiano Ronaldo

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