Casemiro admits to having considered his future at Real Madrid during the early days of Zinedine Zidane’s first spell as manager.
The Brazil international was on the books at the Santiago Bernabeu when an iconic Frenchman was promoted to a prominent coaching post.
Zidane took the reins in January 2016, midway through what was Casemiro’s first season as a regular in the Spanish capital.
He initially took to overlooking the South American, with other options favoured in the midfield engine room.
Casemiro, having worked hard to earn his chance with Madrid, did not take too kindly to finding himself down the pecking order.
With a transfer window open at the time, he went out of his way to speak with Zidane and find out where he stood.
Revaling to Movistar+ what was discussed, Casemiro said: “What's going on? We are in January and I want to have a role. I want to play, boss!”
He got the answer he was after, with Zidane replying: “Case, calm down, once you start to play you'll never stop.”
Casemiro saw just 21 minutes of game time during the nine games Zidane took charge of in January and February 2016.
Having been promised that he would be selected and there would be no looking back from that point, things changed quickly for a highly-regarded performer.
Casemiro soon came into favour and has gone on to take in 123 games under Zidane.
He helped Madrid to an historic hat-trick of Champions League crowns and the Liga title.
The 27-year-old remains a prominent figure to this day, with Zidane still calling on him during a second spell as head coach at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Casemiro is a key part of the plans because he can always be relied upon to give his all to the collective cause.
A combative midfielder prides himself on that fact, saying of his game: “It doesn't matter to me whether it's the 12th or the 90th minute, I'll go for the ball the same way as I go for a plate of food. I go for the ball as if it's the last.”
Madrid are hoping to see those qualities serve them well in 2019-20, with a slow start to the season having made way for a surge to the top of the Liga table – two points clear of arch-rivals Barcelona.