‘Created an era’: Former rival lauds Lionel Messi

Football Football - Ligue 1 - Angers v Paris Saint Germain - Paris Saint Germain Lionel Messi during pre-match training at Stade Raymond Koppa, Angers, France - April 21, 2023.  - Reuters
Football Football – Ligue 1 – Angers v Paris Saint Germain – Lionel Messi of Paris Saint Germain during the warm-up before the match at Stade Raymond Koppa, Angers, France – April 21, 2023. – Reuters

Manchester United and Brazil midfielder Casemiro recently heaped praise on his former rival Lionel Messi and said it was a “pleasure” to play against the PSG legend.

Terming Messi as one of the top three players of his generation, the five-time UEFA Champions League (UCL) winner said in a recent chat with Plaker, “I didn’t get to see Maradona or Pele play, But I enjoyed it.” I look up to the three greatest players of my generation: Messi, Cristiano and Neymar.”

The Brazilian midfielder commented: “Messi created an era, and he was always competitive with Barcelona and Argentina; there was no way. Anyone who loves football will love Messi.”

“It was a pleasure playing against him. He is the kind of player who doesn’t need any comments, you can only praise him.”

Messi and Casemiro first played against each other in 2016 at the Camp Nou in a league match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Los Blancos won the match as the Brazilian emerged as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.

Casemiro – despite his praise for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner – admitted he didn’t watch the 2022 World Cup final after Argentina led his country to World Cup victory.

“No, I didn’t watch it, and to be honest, after our loss, I think I didn’t watch football for a month, and I didn’t turn on the TV. It was very painful.

He said, “One of my best friends Lecha won the tournament. I congratulate her with all respect and appreciation. If anyone among my friends deserves it, it is Lisandro.”

It should be noted that Casemiro joined Real Madrid in 2013 as a 21-year-old and made his debut for the Whites in the 2012–13 season against Real Betis on 20 April.

He was soon promoted to the first team the following season, where he played as a backup midfielder for Xabi Alonso.

Casemiro won 18 trophies during his nine-year career with Madrid, including five UCL titles and three La Liga titles.

He then joined Manchester United in 2022 and helped them win their first trophy since 2017.


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