After making an influential start to Euro 2016, Dimitri Payet has seen Real Madrid and French legend Zinedine Zidane lavish praise on him.
The West Ham United playmaker scored twice in the group stage to help guide Les Bleus to the last-16 of the tournament, and he will hope to continue to play a crucial role in their progress in the coming fortnight.
In turn, it’s no surprise to see him linked with various top clubs around Europe, as he has continued his impressive form for the Hammers last season on the international stage.
Whether Zidane is merely giving credit where it’s due or is starting a charm offensive to persuade the 29-year-old to move to the Spanish capital, it’s difficult to imagine Payet being anything but honoured by his words.
“It is a great story – he (Payet) has always always had talent, but now at 29 he is getting the respect he deserves,” he told reporters.
“There is so much pressure on young players to perform on the biggest stage, Dimitri has shown things don’t always have to happen early.
“When he wasn’t in the French team he never gave up, and now he is proving he is one of the most important and talented players, not just in the French side, but in Europe.
“He had an incredible season with West Ham, and now at The Euros is showing that no occasion is too big for him. He would improve any side in Europe, that is how talented he is.
“From a coaches perspective he is everything you look for in an attacking midfield player.
“He can score goals, he can create goals, he has real quality from set pieces. Any club would want him, he is improving all the time.”
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic will be desperate to hold on to his key man this summer and continue to improve his squad, but ultimately, it would be difficult for any club to reject the advances of Real, particularly if the player wishes to make the move.