Zinedine Zidane and Fabien Barthez have hailed Paris Saint-Germain target David Beckham, with the former Ballon d'Or winner claiming the LA Galaxy midfielder can do things he "couldn't do".
The 36-year-old is widely expected to complete a high-profile move from the MLS to Ligue 1 in the coming days, with his contract in the USA coming to an end on Saturday.
And Zidane, a former Real Madrid team-mate, has spoken in glowing terms of the 115-times-capped England midfielder's attitude in an interview with France Football.
"I don't know how he manages to be so at ease outwardly on the pitch. He is almost a pop star. I couldn't do that. It is incredible, especially given that he is as timid as me."
The Madrid director added that Beckham's arrival at the Bernabeu in 2003 made his own job easier in midfield.
"His arrival at Real made it possible to share the roles. I had less responsibility. In any case, that is the feeling I had.
"When he came to Real, he was worried about what the team thought of him. In his integration, he worried about everything that was said about him in the media, and that it would constitute a problem for his performances.
"But on the pitch, he has great technique and shows the combativeness typical of English players."
Former Manchester United keeper Barthez, who spent three years with Beckham at Old Trafford, added that the ex-England captain resembles Zidane in his work ethic.
"David is like Zidane, he lives the life of a professional footballer every day," Barthez told the French publication.
"On a professional level, he is very rigorous. He is a hard worker, and if you doubt it you must ask yourself why he is still playing football at his age. If he had not been committed, he wouldn't still be playing at close to 37 years of age."
Barthez added that he was surprised by Beckham's demeanour when the former goalkeeper first arrived at Old Trafford.
"He is a simple, normal, humble guy. Generous too. When I arrived in Manchester, he, Dwight Yorke and Ryan Giggs invited me to eat with them on my first day. I was fascinated because it didn't correspond with the image of him in the press.
"He is someone who is very calm when he speaks to you. The first time I met him and spoke to him, I thought he was joking about with his little voice."
The ex-world and European champion with the French national side admits that Beckham does not have an all-round game anymore, but he still has one particular quality which could be useful to PSG should the move go ahead.
"He isn't a complete footballer. He has a gift, that's for sure. He has his right foot and a resistant physique, but he runs little and dribbles even less.
"On the other hand, his free-kicks are amazing, so too when he crosses with his right foot. He destabilises the defence. From free-kicks he hits the mark."
Beckham recently flew to Paris to meet club officials, with the curtain set to come down on his time with the Galaxy after their 2011 MLS Cup win last month.