Carlos Henrique Casemiro
In collaboration with Forbes
Carlos Henrique Casimiro, known simply as Casemiro, is a generational talent who has established himself as one of the most successful footballers of the modern era.
From his earliest days at São Paulo, he has earned the reputation of a footballer capable of transcending boundaries and, perhaps more importantly, winning at the highest level.
From humble beginnings in the colourful neighbourhoods of Brazil’s urban landscape to conquering the world with Real Madrid and Manchester United, Casemiro’s journey is a testament to hard work, dedication, and the importance of seizing every opportunity that life throws you.
Earlier this summer, we spent the day with Casemiro in his new home city to capture an exciting collaboration with luxury brands Forbes Tailoring and The Couture Club. In this world-exclusive interview, we discuss the importance of family, football, and the decisions which have catapulted him to footballing immortality.
During the summer of 2022, Casemiro emerged as Manchester United’s marquee signing, completing the missing piece in Erik Ten Hag’s tactical puzzle. During one of the most successful seasons the Old Trafford faithful has witnessed in nearly a decade, he has proven himself to be more than influential; his impact has been instrumental, surpassing the expectations of his manager, teammates, and millions of fans worldwide.
But when you pause to reflect, it’s hardly surprising. Before Casemiro arrived in Manchester, he had amassed 21 senior trophies, including five Champions Leagues, three La Liga titles and the Copa América. With an impressive track record like his, there should have been no doubt regarding his expertise and ability to propel the Red Devils back to recently unreached heights.
To truly understand who Casemiro is on and off the field, it’s important to go back to where it all began. Like many Brazilian superstars past and present, he developed his talents on the streets of Brazil in São José dos Campos, a city in the football-crazed state of São Paulo. Here, like many before him, Casemiro would form the skills required to succeed on an unimaginable scale.
“I was born and raised in São José dos Campos with my mother, brother and sister,” he says. “My mother has always been my role model, and she is why I am the person I have become today. I have strong values and great respect for those around me because of her influence.
“I remember in those days, football was my life. I played whenever I could; in the morning, afternoon and night, at home, school and on the streets. I was a striker when I was little and always dreamed of playing for the Brazilian national team.
“Funnily enough, my idol was Zinedine Zidane, so to play for him while he was the manager at Real Madrid was a dream come true. Looking at other players in my position who inspired me, Mauro Silva, who played for Brazil and Deportivo La Coruña, was someone I always admired.”
During his childhood, it might have been unthinkable for Casemiro to reach the heights he has in professional football. Not only has he surpassed the career of Mauro Silva by a considerable margin, but he also remains on course to exceed the trophy count of his other footballing hero, Zinedine Zidane, should his time in Manchester go to plan.
His glittering career started in São Paulo’s youth system, where from the age of 11, he captained every team he played in before making his first team debut in 2010. He would make 112 appearances during four seasons in Série A before his performances for club and country caught the eye of then-Spanish champions Real Madrid.
“I will always be grateful to São Paulo for giving me my first professional opportunity in football,” he says. “It is undoubtedly one of the most famous clubs in Brazil, and it was there that I became the footballer I am today. In 2012, we won the Copa Sudamericana, and that’s when everything changed for me.”
Casemiro officially signed for Real Madrid in January 2013, but his pathway to the first team was far from straightforward. Before the move was made permanent, he would initially sign on loan, playing for Real Madrid Castilla and Portuguese giants Porto before his opportunity came with Los Blancos.
“It was an amazing feeling when São Paulo informed me of Real Madrid’s interest,” says Casemiro. “They are a global club seen with great admiration in Brazil. For me, it was an opportunity that might only come once in a lifetime, and of course, I couldn’t miss it.
“During my time at Real Madrid, I was lucky enough to share a dressing room with some of the best players in the world and enjoy many successes. It was an incredible time in my career, without a doubt.”
During his time in the Spanish capital, Casemiro won five Champions Leagues, three Club World Cups, three UEFA Super Cups, three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and three Spanish Super Cups. Upon reflection on his time with Real Madrid, it becomes evident that his successes as a footballer are not the only reasons for his love for the city.
“My affection for the city and its people will always remain,” he says. “Madrid is where I started my family; they have always felt comfortable and at home. As I said before, my family is everything and the reason I am who I am as a person. It’s important to remember that family is always the most important thing in life.
“While in Madrid, I preferred to live a quiet life, so when I wasn’t training, playing games or travelling, I spent a lot of time with my family. Madrid is a footballing city, but thankfully, the fans are respectful in your everyday life if you’re in restaurants, shops, etc.”
During that period, while attaining personal milestones and experiencing club triumphs, Casemiro was also paving his way for the Brazilian national team – his lifelong dream. Throughout his illustrious 12-year international career, he has experienced successes and setbacks. Yet, his victory in the 2019 Copa América and ascension to the captaincy have solidified his status in footballing folklore.
“Every Brazilian child dreams of representing his country,” he says. “It is the greatest honour and privilege to wear the national team’s shirt and take on that responsibility. Whenever you play for Brazil, the whole country is excited to watch you, so you must always give it your all.”
Casemiro’s unexpected move to Manchester United last summer defied all predictions, but his arrival has ignited a remarkable resurgence in the club’s fortunes, almost as if it were predestined. From the moment he set foot at Old Trafford, fans have been captivated by his presence, and he has yet to falter in meeting their expectations. What’s become more apparent week after week is that a singular ambition drives him: to win.
“Last summer, I felt it was the right time to start a new professional project,” explains Casemiro. “You only have to look at its legendary history and millions of fans to understand that Manchester is a city that breathes football. The history of United, the fans’ admiration for its legends, and their passion for every game, be it Premier League, Cup or European, is special.”
Last season, Manchester United reminded their loyal fans why they were once the best in the world. Despite turbulent times of late, there is a glimmer of hope coming out of the North West that they are set to return to the top of the Premier League and, in time, Europe. And according to Casemiro, returning to winning ways is the singular ambition of everyone at the club.
“I came to Manchester United because of the ambition of a new project that I love, and of course, I want to keep winning titles,” says Casemiro. “I firmly believe we are on the right path for this club to fight significant challenges again.
“In the dressing room, we have players who are great leaders. We have younger teammates and others with more experience who have already won titles. There is a coach who knows perfectly what he wants and how to instil his mentality in us, and the most important thing is that we grow as a team.”
Regardless of the outcome of his Manchester United tenure, Casemiro has undeniably established himself as a fan favourite, leaving a lasting legacy at Old Trafford. His relentless pursuit of success has been a testament to his unwavering determination. However, not just his achievements on the pitch define him; Casemiro’s values and the significance he places on family shine through.
As he continues to chase his dreams with Manchester United, Casemiro embodies the club’s rekindled ambition and unwavering resolve to reclaim their position at the pinnacle of English and European football. His presence alone sparked a revival within the club, instilling renewed hope among fans, who eagerly await what’s to come.
"Working with SWM and their professional team was an absolute pleasure; I want to thank everyone for their attention and kindness. Without a doubt, their work was of a very high standard. I had a great time."
Carlos Henrique Casemiro