Casemiro has lamented Brazil’s World Cup quarter-final exit against Croatia, claiming the victory was ‘in our hands’ before conceding a late extra-time equaliser.
It looked like Brazil would be heading to the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2014 after Neymar scored in extra-time before Bruno Petkovic equalised in the dying moments to take the match to penalties.
Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic then made two crucial saves in the resulting shootout to break Brazilian hearts and send his country to their second successive semi-final.
Speaking in the immediate aftermath of the surprise defeat, Casemiro said: “All defeats are painful, especially when you have a goal, a dream, you have a four-year job for that moment. But it’s hard to find words. Hard to find moments. It’s lifting your head, life goes on.
“We are sad, everyone in the group did their best. We get upset, mainly because of the way it was. It was in our hands, it escaped there. Hard moment. Now it’s peace of mind, life that has to go on.”
Casemiro has been rumoured to be one of the Brazilian players contemplating international retirement, with 39-year-old right-back Dani Alves already announcing his departure from the international set-up. However, the Manchester United midfielder refused to confirm if this World Cup would be his final outing in the yellow of Brazil.
“I’m 30, man,” Casemiro protested. “Of course, there are always kids, but I’m 30 years old, I’m living the best moment of my career, I’m very happy at the club I’m at. I missed an opportunity, but we need to see.”
Brazil’s exit means there will be no long-awaited meeting between them and deadly rivals Argentina, with La Albiceleste now set to face Croatia in the semi-final next week.