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Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro admits he still gets nervous talking to manager Zinedine Zidane.  The 28-year-old joined Los Blancos in 2013 and has established himself as a crucial part of Zidane’s starting side in recent seasons. 

Having grown up watching Zizou in action, Casemiro revealed he still gets taken back when chatting to the football legend. 

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Despite those lingering nerves, the duo has struck up a strong relationship, with Zidane constantly pushing Casemiro to evolve as a midfielder.  “Even today I get a little nervous talking to him, “I tell him he doesn’t know what he meant for us, for me.

“Yeah, I tell him that: you took ‘98 [World Cup] away but it didn’t change anything. Also, knowing him now, I can say he deserves it. He’s incredible: the humility, how he expresses football. He treats us with so much affection and love.

“He’s very insistent; he always, always says: ‘Case, you can do more: arrive from the second line, feed midfielders, bring the ball out cleanly.’

This year, maybe I’ve had more protagonism with the ball, but I still know my job: rob the ball, give it to my team-mates. But Zizou is pesado, heavy going: always talking to me, wanting more.

“He says: ‘I’m not asking you to do something you can’t do; I’m asking you to do something you can.’ He trusts me a lot.”

Casemiro, who has backed Real Madrid to upset Manchester City in the Champions League, appears to have the attributes of a future manager himself and takes the analysis of matches very seriously – much to his wife’s annoyance. Article continues below

“I watch back, see the errors, evaluate. I love that. People say I think like a coach,” he said. “I always try to read the game, the other team’s mind, their coach, what they’re trying to do. Often the smallest details – a meter either way – change everything.

“I have [football analytics platform] Wyscout and watch everything, from China or anywhere. My wife gets annoyed. It’s my work. There’s a time for everything but it’s my job. And I love it. My life is football. I have to think permanently about football.”


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