Real Madrid’s Brazilian midfielder Casemiro has revealed that Spain boss Julen Lopetegui once tried to talk him into representing La Roja.
Casemiro was coached by Lopetegui at Porto during the 2014-15 campaign and had yet to make the breakthrough for Brazil, and the 25-year-old spoke of a time when the Coach enquired about the possibility of him switching international allegiances.
“In one of the talks we had after my return to Real Madrid, Lopetegui jokingly asked me if I wanted to become Spanish, but I’m a very proud Brazilian,” he told Globo Esporte.
“Similarities with 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.”