Sergio Ramos is “writing his name in the history books” at Real Madrid, says Casemiro, with those working alongside an iconic defender delighted to have him on their team.
A World Cup winner moved to Santiago Bernabeu from Sevilla back in 2005.
Many of his outings for Real have come as captain, with records tumbling around him as Ramos has also taken his collection of Spain caps to 178.
It has been suggested that the clock is ticking on a legendary spell in the Spanish capital, with a contract running down towards free agency in 2021, but Casemiro is among those looking to make the most of every opportunity to learn from a modern-day great.
The Brazilian midfielder told reporters of Ramos ahead of a European clash with Inter on Wednesday that the Blancos' skipper will sit out through injury: “Sergio is a leader in the dressing room and on the field. It’s a pleasure to have shared all these years with him. What he’s doing now is writing his name in the club’s history books.
“He’s a player who never gives up. He always wants to fight and he always wants to win. He pushes the team forward, and he’s a leader and a role model for us.”
While Ramos is the undoubted on-field leader for Real, Casemiro is among the others filling vital roles.
He said of the importance now placed on a holding midfield post: “I always say that a footballer, whatever his age, is going to learn something new every day, even if it’s small details.
“The role of the defensive midfielder was quite common in the past, especially in Brazil.
“We had a lot of players, like Mauro Silva, Gilberto Silva and Dunga, who felt comfortable playing that number five role, as we say in Brazil. That ceased to exist, but now it’s returning because formations themselves have changed.
“Today we’ve returned to the old formation where the full-backs are coming up high and then backing away, and the defensive midfielder plays a vital role in this. He provides balance and must keep an eye on the other players and fill any gaps they leave.
“The defensive midfielder is the centre of everything in the midfield and is essential for any team.”
Casemiro will be looking to prove that point when Real take in a trip to San Siro, with Zinedine Zidane’s side having already claimed a dramatic 3-2 win over Inter in this season’s Champions League.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game but mentally we were very strong and focused on victory. And then Rodrygo confirmed it with a goal,” Casemiro said of an eventful game at the Bernabeu on November 3.
“The mental work and concentration that we maintained throughout the whole match were very important. We’re aware that there is still a long way to go, but that victory was very important.”