Real Madrid's Casemiro 'one of the best in the world' - Ney Franco

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The former Brazilian youth manager believes that the Real Madrid man has grown into one of the best in the world in his role

Former Brazil Under-20 coach Ney Franco believes that Real Madrid star Casemiro has developed into one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, and credits his time at Porto for helping the 26-year-old adapt to life in Europe. 

Having come up with Brazilian side Sao Paulo, the midfielder earned a move to Real Madrid in 2013, but was sent out on loan to the Portuguese side in 2014 after failing to find his way into the Madrid first team. 

Casemiro returned to Madrid in June of 2015 and has developed into an integral part of Zinedine Zidane's squad. 

"In Europe, he at first had some difficulty and was loaned to Porto, but it worked well for him, because he found an easier adaptive football and was more mature emotionally," Franco, who worked with Casemiro in the Brazil youth teams, told Goal. 

"He had a good season in Porto and returned to Real Madrid with more confidence and better known both by the club and the press.

"This made a difference, because it created a better environment for him to play. He is a talented, technical player of great quality, but he is also very tactical. He is one of the best defensive midfielders in the world."

While Casemiro has made his way with Madrid, Lucas Moura has had a more difficult time finding a regular home in Europe. 

The 25-year-old is now with Tottenham in the Premier League after losing his spot with Paris Saint-Germain, and his former coach believes he's well suited to the style of play in the English top flight. 

"Lucas had two moments at PSG, the moment of adaptation and growth, and the moment when he not play too much," he said. "He has done well to leave PSG because he has enormous potential to shine in Europe.

"He is in the same level of players like Philippe Coutinho and Casemiro, he is very talented."

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Franco believes that Lucas' desire to take on defenders makes him a good fit for England, and hopes the Spurs man can get back to his best in London. 

"I think Lucas has the profile of the Premier League, he is a player of speed and intensity, who likes to face opponents in one against one," he added. 

"The characteristics of the Premier League match with him and I think he can go back to being the Lucas that we saw in Sao Paulo and at the youth teams of the Selecao."

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