We’ve all heard so many incredible stories involving N’Golo Kante since the Chelsea star arrived in England back in 2015.
The indefatigable midfielder was an unknown quantity when Leicester City signed him from Caen in a deal worth £5.6 million.
However, it didn’t take long for everyone to realise that Kante was a remarkable person, as well as an extraordinary holding midfielder.
One of the most humble, modest and hard-working footballers in the game, Kante famously didn’t think he needed a car when he first joined Leicester.
But rather than a Porsche, Ferrari or another mega-expensive luxury supercar, the Frenchman settled for a £20,000 Mini Cooper to drive to and from training.
“A lot is made of the fact Kanté prefers to drive a Mini rather than operating with the fleet of dream machines that other members of his profession consider essential. But it turns out that when Kanté first arrived in Leicester he was not even sure he needed any wheels,” The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor revealed in 2017 after speaking to one of Kante’s ex-Leicester teammates.
“Kanté, the story goes, reckoned it was possible to run into training every day and had to be persuaded that it wasn’t usually done that way in the Premier League.”
However, Kante’s beloved Mini was involved in a collision with a lorry in January 2018.
As he was driving to Stamford Bridge for a Carabao Cup clash against Arsenal, Kante crashed on the King’s Road. His vehicle unfortunately sustained quite a bit of damage.
“His wing mirror was smashed and his front wheel arch was all dented,” a fan who witnessed the accident told The Sun.
“He must have been pretty annoyed but he was more than happy for fans to take selfies with him.”
Indeed, photos emerged on social media of Kante – no doubt a little shook up – still agreeing to take pictures with fans.
Days later, though, Kante was photographed by The Sun driving to training in the same battered motor.
The frontlet wheel arch remained completely torn off the car, while his left wing mirror had been reattached with gaffer tape.
Despite the fact he was earning £110,000-a-week at the time – enough to purchase five brand new Mini Coopers in a single week – Kante wasn’t bothered about driving the same damaged car to work.
What a man.
“I’ve never been someone who loves a car and when I was young I didn’t have the ambition of a car or something like that,” Kante previously told reporters.
“But my Mini, for the beginning, was good to learn to drive on the left. I got it in Leicester and I still have it now. But it’s good.”
Kante celebrates his 30th birthday on Monday and despite all of the fame and fortune that has come his way in recent years, he remains the same down-to-earth, unaffected human being.
N’Golo, we salute you.