'I like to remind you': Real Madrid star says Chelsea have an 'extraordinary' player in their ranks

Real Madrid’s Casemiro has tried to avoid direct comparisons between himself and Chelsea genius N’Golo Kante.

Speaking to ESPN Brazil, Casemiro was asked whether he belonged amongst the best holding midfielders in the world.

The answer to this question has been a long-running debate amongst fans from across the board.

Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

More recently, the list of candidates has become more blurred, as players’ definitive positions turn equally as fuzzy.

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

Midfielder protectors are now being given licence to roam upfield, or more advanced attackers have defensive duties to uphold.

CDMs across the continent

That being said, there are still several class contenders for the title of the game’s finest deeper midfielder.

Within the Premier League’s walls, Liverpool’s Fabinho and Wilfrid N’Didi of Leicester City are worthy nominees.

Further abroad, Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets at Barcelona deserve a mention.

Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

Reported Chelsea target Marcelo Brozovic certainly fits the bill.

Madrid’s very own enforcer Casemiro ranks very close to the top.

As does Kante, who has built up a reputation over the years for sweeping up the danger in front of the back-line.

Casemiro on Kante

However, in the words of the Brazilian from the Bernabeu, the France international no longer belongs purely in the category of a defensive midfielder.  

“I’d rather you answer that one (laughs),” said Casemiro in response to the initial query.  

“But I like to remind you that Kante – despite being an extraordinary player – has been playing for Chelsea in a different position, with more freedom to attack, and the first defensive midfielder is Jorginho. 

Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

“It is also worth remembering that there are other players of the highest level in this role, such as Busquets and Fabinho. 

“But just because I’m mentioned as one of the best, I’m happy and I keep working to evolve more and more.”

Casemiro has certainly been doing his homework on Chelsea.

It is true that Kante roams further forward than traditionally expected of him, whilst Jorginho controls play from his refrained post.

The pair still offer quality in both departments, presenting Thomas Tuchel with arguably the English top-flights most dominative midriff.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.