Zinedine Zidane: France's Dimitri Payet 'would improve any side in Europe'

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has called Dimitri Payet "one of the most important and talented players in Europe" and praised the France star's dedication after arriving at the top so late in his career.

When Payet joined West Ham last summer he was not a big name outside of Ligue 1 but has gone on to impress in the Premier League and become one of the France national side's most important performers.

France legend Zidane, who won the Champions League, World Cup and European Championship, believes Payet has all the attributes "you look for in an attacking player."

The Mirror quote him as saying: "It is a great story -- he [Payet] has always had talent, but now at 29 he is getting the respect he deserves.

"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 coach's perspective he is everything you look for in an attacking midfield player.

"He can score goals, he can create goals and he has real quality from set pieces. Any club would want him, he is improving all the time."

Real Madrid have been linked with a move for Payet, who only signed a new contract with West Ham in February, because of his form for France at Euro 2016 that saw him score one and assist one in the 2-1 win against Romania and score in the 2-0 victory over Albania.