Carlos Henrique Venancio Casemiro, who turned 31 on Thursday night, played in his eighth UEFA Europa League game against Barcelona at Old Trafford.
Manchester United faced Barcelona for the first time in the UEFA Europa Cup, but they had previously met in the UEFA Champions League, and their most recent meetings were in the Champions League quarterfinals on April 10 and 16, 2019, with Manchester losing both games.
The Red Devils' defensive midfielder played in his seventeenth game since joining Manchester United from Real Madrid Football Club at the start of the 2022–2023 season.
Casemiro was crucial in the midfield against Barcelona at Camp Nou and again on his birthday at Old Trafford, especially when he released Bruno Fernandes down the right with an excellent pass in the third minute, but the Portugal international could not find a way past Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen from a wide angle.
Casemiro’s terrific performance at Old Trafford last Thursday night was highly observed by former striker Robin van Persie, leading him to single out the Brazilian defensive midfielder and his former colleague at Real Madrid, Raphael Varane.
"Casemiro, Varane, these guys are winners and can get you through a tough moment in a game," Robin van Persie told BT Sports after the win over Barcelona. They've been showing it. Even though they were trailing, I believed they could make a comeback. That is the mark of a top team."
Casemiro’s unforgettable moment in the game last night was when his awareness of danger, decision-making, and world-class quality dealt with so many threats as David de Gea gave a miscalculated pass to Robert Lewandowski, but he was available to challenge for the ball, which did not result in a goal.
In Erik ten Hag’s formational 4-2-3-1 system, Casemiro patterned with fellow countryman Fred in the deep midfield role, as he was rated 8 out of 10 since he played Bruno Fernandes in for a huge chance in the third minute and made two huge blocks just before halftime, making his experience at Old Trafford feel real.
The five-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid, Casemiro, expressed his happiness after a night he ensured Manchester United's win against Barcelona and a day of celebrating his birthday with a tweet on his official Twitter account.
He tweeted on his handle, @Casemiro, with the caption, “I had a wonderful birthday!! Thanks to my family! Thanks, Old Trafford and @ManUtd!! And thank you for all the birthday wishes!"
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