MADRID: Brazilian midfielder Casemiro(pix) wept on Monday as he bade an emotional farewell to Real Madrid following a trophy-laden nine-year stay with the LaLiga club.
“When I got here, my wife and I knew nobody. We were alone and we built our life story here in this city together,“ the Manchester United-bound player said as tears rolled down his cheeks.
“I arrived at the reserve team and I had to fight my way to the first team. I learned the values of this club, while working at their academy, to be the purest part of football.
“I have won a lot here but I’ve always felt that the greatest honour was to come here to work everyday,“ added the 30-year-old, who won three LaLiga, one Copa del Rey and five Champions League titles among many other accolades.
Casemiro gave special thanks to team mates Luka Modric and Tony Kroos for their support.
An emotional Real Madrid president Florentino Perez praised Casemiro for all he had done at the club.
“You have been exemplary every single day in all of these years here. You have earned the right to decide your future and we must respect it. You… leave the image of the champion that you are,“ Perez said.
“You are going to a friendly club, the legendary Manchester United, but wherever you are you will always be an ambassador of Real Madrid.
“You will always be one of us. When you return one day, we will remember these moments. Thank you, Case, this is and always will be your home.”
Real and United confirmed on Friday that they agreed a deal for the transfer of Casemiro. British media said United had closed on a deal worth up to 70 million euros ($70.06 million).
“I want to face new challenges, know a different league, a different country, different culture. Over there I didn’t win nothing, so I have everything still in front of me. It was the hardest decision of my life but I’m excited to what’s ahead of me,“ Casemiro added.
Casemiro is expected to be unveiled to United fans later on Monday when they host Liverpool at Old Trafford. United have lost both of their opening two games of the season. –Reuters