"I never imagined that he was capable of such dominant performances." Tite's words, uttered shortly after he began working with Casemiro, speak volumes of the Real Madrid man's rise in stature.
Not for nothing does the Brazil coach view the holding midfielder, who has been a multiple trophy winner with the Madrilenian club in recent years, as a mainstay of his strongest XI.
Despite making his full international bow in 2011, it is under Tite's tutelage that Casemiro has really come into his own for his country. Before then, he went to the 2015 Copa America and the following year's Copa America Centenario under Dunga, but saw his opportunities limited.
When fit, the midfield screener regularly imposed his power and positional acumen on the road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. In the process, he helped bring balance to a largely attack-minded team.
Moreover, he had the honour of wearing the captain's armband against Bolivia, towards the end of the qualifying campaign.