Casemiro cites Madrid team-mates Modric and Kroos as world's best midfielders

By Sports Desk August 10, 2022

Casemiro has crowned team-mates Luka Modric and Toni Kroos as "possibly the best two midfielders in the world".

Madrid ran out 2-0 winners over Eintracht Frankfurt in the Super Cup on Wednesday, thanks to goals from David Alaba and Karim Benzema.

Carlo Ancelotti stuck with the same line-up that had started against Liverpool in May's Champions League final, and midfield trio Casemiro, Kroos and Modric turned in a supreme display.

Modric, the 2018 Ballon d'Or winner, completed 53 of 57 passes (93 per cent) and laid on two chances for team-mates in Helsinki, while Kroos enjoyed 120 touches, completed 97 passes and gained possession nine times.

Only UEFA's man of the match Casemiro (10) bettered that latter figure, and the Brazil international also went close to a spectacular goal when he rattled the crossbar from long range on his weaker left foot – that shot was teed up by Modric.

The trio's performances led Carlo Ancelotti to highlight Madrid's experience as a crucial factor in their victory after full-time, and Casemiro knows he is playing with two of the best in the business.

"We know each other just by looking at one another," he told a post-match news conference.

"I've got an easy job, we're talking about Kroos and Modric who are possibly the best two midfielders in the world. 

"There are things in football that cannot be explained, some things just happen in football. I hope we'll continue to be together for a long time to come."

 

While Madrid's thrilling 2021-22 Champions League triumph saw several energetic cameos by young midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, the 14-time European champions have further bolstered that area of the pitch with the recent acquisition of Aurelien Tchouameni from Monaco.

Casemiro welcomes the competition provided by the 22-year-old's arrival and has high hopes for the France international.

"It hasn't annoyed me, everyone knows about my character and loyalty for this club, I'll be working in the same way," Casemiro said.

"You only see the 90 minutes but I'll keep making sacrifices, including on the pitch and in training.

"I think Tchouameni is a top player, this club speaks for itself – everybody gives their all. All I can say to him is keep doing what he's doing, keep showing in training and do it out on the pitch."

Related items

  • Milan 2-5 Sassuolo: Neroverdi add to Rossoneri misery with San Siro thrashing Milan 2-5 Sassuolo: Neroverdi add to Rossoneri misery with San Siro thrashing

    A goal and two assists from Italy international Domenico Berardi piled on the misery for Milan as Sassuolo thrashed the Rossoneri 5-2 at San Siro.

    Sassuolo took an early two-goal lead thanks to goals from Gregoire Defrel and Davide Frattesi prior to Olivier Giroud pulling one back for the hosts.

    Berardi made it 3-1 after just 30 minutes before Armand Lauriente's penalty and Matheus Henrique's effort in the second half handed Milan their second chastening loss in a week after their 4-0 humbling at Lazio on Tuesday.

    Divock Origi scored a consolation for Stefano Pioli's side, who are now six games without a win heading into next weekend's Milan derby, including four in Serie A as their title defence continues to falter.

    A VAR review denied Giroud an eighth-minute opener and, to make matters significantly worse, Milan found themselves two down inside 22 minutes.

    Berardi squared for Defrel to tap in the opener before the same man fed Frattesi, who fired past Ciprian Tatarusanu at his near post after great work in the area.

    Milan provided a swift response when Giroud expertly headed Davide Calabria's cross into the far corner in the 25th minute.

    But the two-goal lead was restored on the half-hour mark when Berardi flicked a near-post header past Tatarusanu from a corner.

    Milan's hopes of a second-half comeback were doused almost immediately as Lauriente was brought down in the penalty area by Calabria after 33 seconds of the restart, allowing the Frenchman to make it 4-1 from the spot, meaning Milan had conceded at least four goals in back-to-back Serie A games for the first time in their history.

    Ante Rebic had a goal ruled out for offside before Henrique fired in a fifth with just over 10 minutes remaining, with Origi's curling strike into the top corner doing little to lift the gloom among the home fans.

  • Australian Open: Djokovic revels in 'biggest victory of my life' after landing 10th title Australian Open: Djokovic revels in 'biggest victory of my life' after landing 10th title

    Novak Djokovic described his latest Australian Open triumph as "probably the biggest victory of my life" as he put last year's adversity behind him to win the title for a 10th time.

    The Serbian defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday to draw level with Rafael Nadal on 22 grand slam crowns – a joint-record for male players.

    Djokovic dropped just one set across his seven matches in a dominant display down under, coming a year on from being deported from the country ahead of the 2022 edition.

    He was denied the opportunity to defend his title following a row over his COVID-19 vaccination status, which also saw him banned from entering the country until 2025.

    However, he had his visa ban overturned in November and made up for lost time, with his straight-sets win against Tsitsipas also seeing him regain the world number one spot.

    Djokovic broke down in tears after sealing victory in a little under three hours and then gave an emotional speech in his on-court interview.

    "This has been one of the most challenging tournaments I have ever played in my life considering the circumstances, not playing last year, coming back this year," he said.

    "I want to thank all the people who made me feel welcome, made me feel comfortable to be in Melbourne and to be in Australia. 

    "There is a reason why I have played my best tennis throughout my career in this arena. I try to pinch myself and really live through these moments. 

    "It's a long journey. Only the team and the family knows what we have been through in the last four or five weeks.

    "I would say this is probably the biggest victory of my life, considering those circumstances. Thank you so much – and hopefully see you next year."

     

    Djokovic landed his first Australian Open title 15 years ago and has now won 28 matches in a row at his favourite tournament.

    At 35 years, he is the third-oldest male in the Open Era to win the Australian Open singles title after Ken Rosewall and Roger Federer, another of his long-time rivals.

    Tsitsipas labelled his opponent as the greatest of all time after the match, and Djokovic also had some kind words to share as he backed the Greek to challenge in more majors.

    "Thanks so much for being so kind and respectful," Djokovic said. "On the court we are fierce competitors, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't respect each other.

    "I congratulate you on an amazing tournament. Tough luck tonight. This will not be your last grand slam final, you have a lot of time. 

    "You are one of the most professional players I know on the tour, and one of the most interesting."

    Djokovic, whose 93 ATP titles is the fourth most of any male in the Open Era, added: "I'd like to finish off by commenting something on Greece and Serbia. 

    "We are two relatively small countries that don't really have a tennis tradition. We didn't really have players to look up to.

    "I think the message for any young tennis player around the world watching this now, dreaming to be where we are now, dream big. Anything is possible. 

    "Don't let anyone take away the dream. It doesn't matter where you're coming from. I think the more disadvantaged a childhood you have, the stronger you become.

    "We are the proof of that. Don't let anybody take that dream away from you. Water it like you would water the flowers. 

    "Even if you can only find one person in the world that supports you, dream big and you can make it."

  • Leicester City sign Tete on short-term deal Leicester City sign Tete on short-term deal

    Leicester City have completed a short-term deal for Brazilian winger Tete.

    The 22-year-old left Shakhtar Donetsk following the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year, joining Lyon in March after players in the country were given permission by FIFA to suspend their contracts.

    After eight goals and nine assists in 30 appearances for the French side, Tete has made the move to the Premier League, although his new club confirmed he is due to return to Shakhtar at the end of the season.

    Upon signing for the Foxes, Tete told the club's media: "I'm really happy to be here. I've had a look at the pitch and the stadium, it's beautiful and I can already imagine what it'll be like with a lot of fans. I hope to score a lot of goals and assists. I hope they'll all be happy to see me play, I'm happy to be a Fox."

    Tete began his career at Gremio and has represented Brazil at under-20 and under-23 level.

    He could make his debut for Brendan Rodgers' side in their trip to Aston Villa on February 4.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.