N’Golo Kante has been the talk of the footballing world in the aftermath of Chelsea’s Champions League final success against Manchester City.
The Frenchman dropped an absolute masterclass in Porto to help Thomas Tuchel’s side achieve a 1-0 victory and win the competition for a second time.
Kante was rightly named UEFA Man-of-the-Match for his superhuman-like efforts and he’s now in the running to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or.
If football fans had their way, the humble 30-year-old would be the winner of world football’s most prestigious individual accolade.
The Spectator Index ran a poll on their official Twitter account about who should win the 2021 Ballon d’Or, with Kante earning 42.5% of the 167,389 votes.
Were Kante to dethrone the Argentine and actually scoop the award, it would be an incredible achievement by a player who will go down as one of the finest midfielders in history.
But while the Chelsea man is still unlikely to triumph over Messi in the Ballon d’Or arena, he has got the better of him on the pitch in the past.
The most notable example of that came at the 2018 World Cup, when Kante kept the Barcelona superstar relatively quiet in France’s 4-3 win over Argentina in the last-16.
Several instances of the midfielder thwarting Messi during that iconic game feature in the brilliant compilation below, as well as snippets of footage from the pair’s other on-pitch duels.
Spoiler alert, Kante emerges victorious in all of them…
Kante vs Messi
Now we know why part of Kante’s very own song includes the phrase “he stopped Leo Messi”!
On many occasions, the French midfielder doesn’t win the ball, but his intelligent positioning results in Messi being unable to wreak havoc in the manner he would like – which is pure genius.
The Argentine has certainly enjoyed success of his own while on the same pitch as Kante, though.
In the two games between Barcelona and Chelsea from 2018 featured in the video above, Messi contributed to all four of the goals scored by the Spanish club.
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The 33-year-old fired home a crucial equaliser at Stamford Bridge, before scoring two and assisting another in the 3-0 win at Camp Nou.
To put it simply, both Messi and Kante are legends and we hope to see them sharing the same pitch again in the near future.