N’Golo Kante has deservedly received widespread praise in the aftermath of the 2021 Champions League final.
Chelsea’s world-class defensive midfielder produced a Man of the Match performance against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto, covering every blade of grass over the course of the 90 minutes.
The indefatigable Frenchman is now among the favourites to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or award – Goal.com’s latest rankings have him in first place ahead of PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski – and wouldn’t it be lovely to see such a committed team player handed football’s most prestigious individual accolade?
Kante is universally popular with football fans not just because of his magnificent performances on the pitch.
Nobody has a bad word to say about him because of his loveable personality, humility and unassuming nature. Players, coaches, fans all have the same opinion of Kante: he’s a one-off in modern football.
From driving to training in his battered second-hand Mini Cooper days after crashing it to watching Match of the Day with fans, Kante has endeared himself to just about everybody since moving to England in 2015.
However, you don’t scale the lofty heights that Kante has during his illustrious career without having fire in your belly and a steely inner determination.
When Kante got revenge on Danny Rose
And as Danny Rose will testify, Kante is not a player that you want to get on the wrong side of.
When no foul was awarded, Kante exacted revenge by taking Rose out with a full-blooded challenge on the touchline.
Rose let out a huge scream as Kante sent the Spurs left-back into Row Z.
Kante then casually retrieved the ball and didn’t so much as glance at Rose, who was left rolling around on the floor in pain.
Watch the incident here…
Although Tottenham’s players demanded action was taken against Kante by referee Martin Atkinson, none of them approached Chelsea’s No. 7.
Even in that moment, nobody could bring themselves to front up to football’s most lovable player.
In truth, everyone was probably a bit taken aback after watching Kante crunch Rose out of revenge. Mauricio Pochettino certainly looked surprised.
Atkinson showed Kante a yellow card after the French star proved he’s no push-over, despite his reputation as football’s Mr Nice Guy.
Chelsea win Champions League – Reaction (Football Terrace)