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