Casemiro lauds Benitez after re-signing

Midfielder Casemiro praised Rafa Benitez as a key factor in his re-signing with Real Madrid, sewing up his future until 2021.

Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro hailed coach Rafa Benitez, after the Sao Paulo product's future at the Santiago Bernabeu was secured.

The 23-year-old signed on at Real until 2021, despite a clause in his loan deal with Porto last season almost leading to a permanent stay in Primeira Liga.

But the Brazilian was desperate to return to Real, where he will play under his third coach at the Spanish giants - having spent time in the capital under each of Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti.

Casemiro indicated he was happy with Benitez's arrival in the close-season.

"I learned a lot, also by working with Mourinho and with Ancelotti," he told Real Madrid's official website. 

"Now with Benitez, I am sure that it will be an incredible year and I am going to continue working to play more and more. I am very happy.

"He is a great manager. He always wants his players to give their best, whether in training or in games. 

"He likes people to approach things seriously and we are on the right path."

Casemiro said his season at Porto, which saw him play 28 league games for three goals to help them to a second-place finish, was crucial for his development.

"It was a very important decision, for me and my family. Porto helped me a lot and now I return as a man and with more experience," he said.