Casemiro has hailed Real Madrid team-mates Luka Modric and Toni Kroos as boasting ability “almost the same quality as Zinedine Zidane”.
The iconic Frenchman is now in charge of proceedings at Santiago Bernabeu, having graced the Spanish capital with distinction during his playing days.
Zidane is considered to be among the finest performers to have ever played the game, but Casemiro believes Madrid have two midfielders on their books at present who are approaching that level.
He told Globo Esporte when pressed on comparisons between himself a former France international: “Similarities with [Claude] Makelele? Maybe a little bit because I have Kroos and Modric by my side, two players that almost have the same quality as Zidane.
“Zidane was an idol for me, I grew up watching him play. He always asks me to come out playing the ball and that I don’t just sit deep.
“Being coached by Zidane? At the start it was a little difficult, I grew up watching him play. It’s Zidane after all!
“Now he is respected as a coach. You have to respect Zidane, he’s in the history of football.”
Casemiro has emerged as one of European football’s top holding midfielders since making the breakthrough in Madrid.