Thursday, May 26

Casemiro: Mbappe is compatible with anyone in the world, including Vinicius

Casemiro and his Real Madrid teammates are preparing for their Champions League match against Inter, but that hasn’t stopped questions arising about the possibility of Kylian Mbappe joining the club next summer.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward is able to begin negotiating with other clubs from January 1 – 26 days’ time – and the expectation is that he make the move to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, but Casemiro isn’t worried about his arrival having an impact on Vinicius Junior.

“He’s not our player. It’s difficult to talk about someone who isn’t here,” Casemiro said during Monday’s pre-match press conference.

“He’s a great player and compatible with anyone in the world, including Vini. I like football and everyone who likes football knows that Mbappe is a great player.”

Real Madrid will be without Karim Benzema for the Inter match, but Casemiro pointed to the impact that Luka Jovic had off the bench against Real Sociedad last weekend, as he recorded a goal and an assist in the 2-0 win.

“His absence is that of the best No.9 in the world, and one of the best players in the world,” he noted.

“But we have Jovic and Mariano [Diaz]. Luka had a great game against La Real, and it wasn’t easy. He plays very little because he has the best No.9 in the world in front of him.”

Vinicius Junior has made a big jump this season, with his compatriot pointing to one area of his game that has stood out in particular.

“It’s a blessing to have him playing like this,” Casemiro commented.

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“The difference this year is that without playing well he’s been top class, as he was against Sevilla. Now he makes the difference in games without playing well, something that not everyone does.

“It’s difficult to say if he’s the most decisive player, because here there’s Karim [Benzema], [Thibaut] Courtois, [Toni] Kroos… But he is at a very important moment in his career. He is very important for us.

“It’s difficult to compare him with players from other leagues, who we don’t see every day. I see Vini every day.

“I don’t know if he is the best Brazilian today. We have a lot of top players: Gabriel Jesus, [Roberto] Firmino, Neymar… but he is in the top three.

“I’m very happy for him. He’s a guy who suffered a lot. We have a great player for 10 or 15 years.”

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