Casemiro details how Erik ten Hag’s ‘obsession with winning’ is transforming Manchester United

The Brazilian has also spoken of his admiration for Red Devils legend Paul Scholes

Richard Jolly
Senior Football Correspondent
Friday 13 January 2023 16:00 GMT
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Casemiro believes Erik ten Hag’s rare obsession with winning is helping to change the trajectory of Manchester United and revealed he wished he could have played with Paul Scholes.

The Brazil midfielder was part of four teams who lifted the Champions League in his time at Real Madrid but, despite playing for managers such as Carlo Ancelotti, Zinedine Zidane and Rafa Benitez at the Bernabeu, he feels Ten Hag’s desire for victories makes him stand out.

United go into Saturday’s Manchester derby on a run of eight straight wins in all competitions and Casemiro has set his sights on bringing silverware to Old Trafford.

He thinks Ten Hag is changing the style of play and culture of the club, explaining: “He’s certainly a manager who is obsessed with winning. Few managers in my career had the same obsession to win. He’s someone who always wants to win even in training, he always wants the best.

“He’s a hard-working manager who demands a lot of his players so that we’re always at our best and that’s important for us. I also view him as a manager with the desire to see Manchester United grow and develop, that’s one of his most important characteristics.

“It’s still very early days in terms of football, still early in terms of introducing his philosophy and bringing in his own players. We are growing, we are developing very well and understand the manager better, this is really important to win trophies.

“We know that it’s a process, it’s very important to adapt to this process quickly. It’s early days: if you were to look at the successful managers here in England or at other clubs, they all had time. It’s true we’re on a very good run of form, a great trajectory putting in big performances, but these things come with time.”

Casemiro teamed up with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in a hugely successful trio for Real and, asked which former United midfielder he would like to have played alongside, nominated a man who played 718 times under Sir Alex Ferguson.

“That’s a very easy question, it would have to be Scholes,” he said. “He’s a player I admired a great deal as a child. I’ve mentioned this on numerous occasions, not just because I’m here now, I used to say this when I was at Real Madrid.

“He’s an idol of mine and it would be an absolute pleasure to play alongside him given everything he won here and what he represents to Manchester United.”

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