Eder Militao has heaped praise on Carlo Ancelotti for helping him to reach a new level this season at Real Madrid.
Following the departures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane during the summer, Militao has gone from first-reserve to undisputed starter at the Santiago Bernabeu and has justified that status with some outstanding performances.
The 23-year-old has made 18 appearances in La Liga this season, helping his side to the top of the standings and holding his own alongside summer signing David Alaba, and he credits his improvement to Ancelotti's hard work.
"I'm living a dream in Madrid, "Militao told AS. "Ancelotti has been very important to me, he has given me the confidence that every player needs.
"I just try to continue every day. I have very beautiful moments ahead with Real Madrid and with Tite's national team."
Militao has played 39 of Real's last 40 matches, more than any other player, and he has tasted defeat just three times during that run.
Despite Militao's impressive form, Real's lack of depth at centre-back continues to be a concern for those in charge at the Bernabeu. Behind the Brazilian and Alaba are just utility man Nacho Fernandez and 24-year-old Jesus Vallejo, who is expected to leave the club in the summer.
The club are looking closely at Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger, whose contract is up at the end of the season.
AS state that Militao's emergence has seen Real temper their interest in Rudiger, who remains their preferred centre-back target but has been pushed down the list of priorities in favour of moves for both Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.
Once Real have ended their pursuits of those two, successfully or otherwise, they will then turn their attention to Rudiger, who is also attracting interest from both Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.