Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro has labelled former teammate Gareth Bale a 'top five' footballer in the world following the Welshman's summer return to Tottenham.
Bale rejoined Spurs on a season-long loan last month but is yet to feature for the Lilywhites after picking up a knee injury on international duty prior to the switch.
The 31-year-old's highly anticipated return, however, is expected to arrive on Sunday against West Ham, with Jose Mourinho reportedly impressed by Bale's work on the training field.
The Welshman left Madrid after falling massively out of favour with manager Zinedine Zidane amid frequent spells on the sidelines due to injury.
Star midfielder Casemiro has, however, dismissed claims that Bale was unpopular in the dressing room.
“He got along very well with everyone," the Brazilian said, speaking to Movistar Plus’ program Vamos (via Sport Witness).
Casemiro has always been an avid admirer of Bale - winning 14 pieces of silverware alongside the Welshman - describing earlier this year that he remained 'very important' to Madrid and 'deserved more respect' for what he achieved in the Spanish capital.
The 28-year-old also weighed in on Bale's switch to Spurs: "When he plays, if he’s focused, he’s one of the best in the world, top five without a doubt.
“It’s a pleasure for me to have shared the dressing room with someone like him. I hope it goes well at this stage at Tottenham. I thank you for the ‘chirlos’ [screamers] you scored in the finals. When I think of Gareth, I remember those good times.”
Bale's scintillating individual effort to win the 2014 Copa del Rey along with his match-winning brace - including one of the competition's greatest ever goals - in the 2018 Champions League final remain etched in the memory of the Brazilian.
The Lilywhite faithful in N17 will be hoping the 31-year-old still has a few moments of magic left in the tank. Title challenge anyone?
Source : 90min