Thursday, June 13News That Matters

Man Utd player told Ten Hag he did not want to play in FA Cup final

Manchester United’s Casemiro, prior to the FA Cup final showdown with Manchester City, communicated to manager Erik ten Hag his decision to abstain from participation due to a slight injury concern.

The Brazilian ace wasn’t in peak condition for the climactic match at Wembley and was initially listed as a reserve.

Yet, a last-minute adjustment led to his complete omission from the team, with Willy Kambwala stepping in to fill the bench spot.

According to BBC Sport, the ex-Real Madrid midfielder experienced hamstring tension and opted out of playing, even in a substitute capacity.

Casemiro’s second term at Manchester has been challenging, with him filling in as a makeshift centre-back during the injury-laden final stretch of the season.

His outings against Crystal Palace, Arsenal, and Burnley drew negative reviews, but the return of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane enabled ten Hag to revert to a more traditional defensive lineup against City.

Martinez and Varane took up the central defense roles, while Sofyan Amrabat continued in midfield, flanked by Kobbie Mainoo, who delivered an outstanding performance.

Post-victory, Casemiro was seen joining the celebration on the Wembley turf and briefly attended the victory gala before jetting off for a vacation with his kin.

The 31-year-old midfielder, a Real Madrid transfer from two years back, is reportedly on the list of players Manchester United might transfer this summer. Interest from Saudi Arabian clubs hints at a potential reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr.

Following a 4-0 loss to Palace, pundit Jamie Carragher critiqued Casemiro, hinting at retirement. However, Casemiro remains firm on continuing his professional journey.

‘I’m really well, I feel healthy, with energy and the same mentality I always had,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘I guess people end up talking about the age factor, but it’s been proven. Recently, our friend Thiago Silva, at the age of 39 coming here and showing that, yes, you can play. The previous Ballon d’Or winners were over 34.

‘At Man City, there’s Kevin De Bruyne. [Mohamed] Salah at Liverpool. I think age is not an issue, it is not a factor in this, but analysing one’s game and knowing about everything that is happening around the game.

‘These are people who analyse football well, who see what’s happening, who know what’s happening, analysing not the age.

‘But I’m well, I’m happy, living every day I get to play here. As I usually say, Manchester United gave me what I wanted. This joy of being able to enjoy the game, enjoy the Premier League.

‘So, I’m happy to be here at Manchester United and enjoying the game.’


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