Casemiro's goal scoring has turned him into one of the most valuable members of Zidane's side - especially when the forwards are not finding the target. On top of his defensive duties (he recovered seven balls for Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup final against Manchester United) he is also giving the team extra bite in attack: he's already scored seven goals during 2017.
Casemiro bumps up his goal scoring figures
Those figures are very telling about Casemiro's evolution in front of goal. Right from his April 2013 debut against Betis he had several close brushes with the goal - usually long-range efforts from loose balls; he opened his Madrid account, albeit in unofficial competition, when he was included in the first team squad for the pre-season that year, firing in the winner against Bournemouth.
He seems to be getting forward more regularly these days - for example he went undetected in his foray into the box against United. Out of the eight goals he has scored for Madrid, seven have come this season. Before he arrived in Spain, joining Real Madrid Castilla in the January 2013 window, he had only scored 13 goals in four and a half seasons with São Paulo. Another pleasing aspect for Zidane is that Casemiro turns up to score decisive goals in big games - like he did against Napoli in last season's Champions League and again in the UEFA Super Cup final. Zizou said after the United game: "We don't train Casemiro to score goals but he does take part in the attacking exercises we put the players through in our training sessions”.