N’Golo Kante is now one of the big favourites to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or.
The French midfielder produced one of the greatest performances in Champions League history in this year’s final against Manchester City.
Kante was simply too good in Porto and Pep Guardiola’s collection of creative superstars just couldn’t get the better of the Chelsea man.
It was a performance few other players in history could have produced and he was also magnificent in both legs of the Blues’ Champions League semi-final tie against Real Madrid.
Kante has delivered in the biggest games and if he can help guide France to glory at Euro 2020, the Ballon d’Or trophy surely beckons for the energetic midfielder.
But does he even need to secure another major international honour to be in with a chance of winning the individual accolade?
Well, not according to teammate Paul Pogba.
The Manchester United man has stated that Kante is already deserving of the award, ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – who have won it a combined total of 11 times.
“What I would like to say to the whole world is that the ‘NG’ we have seen in recent months has always been the same,” Pogba said on Eurosport France’s FC Stream Team podcast.
“We talk a lot about his performances but he has always been as good as ever.
“There was no Cristiano and Messi in the semi-final, so it’s good to see the performances of the midfielders or even the defenders.
“I said a long time ago that it would be appropriate, if Chelsea won, for him to win the Ballon d’Or. It would be deserved, too.”
Fair play, Paul.
It’s hard to disagree with him to be honest, but he will know that France lifting the European Championship trophy on July 11th would be huge for Kante’s Ballon d’Or chances.
The United man went on to admit in his interview that the pressure is on the 2018 World Cup winners this summer, particularly after the return of Karim Benzema.
“We have a PlayStation team, but it will remain a PlayStation team if we don’t win a trophy,” he added.
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“We have to live up to expectations and there’ll be even more expected with Karim’s return. It’s nice to see a team sheet like that… It’s always an honour but you always have to be present on the pitch.
“Being world champions and having a team like that, we will be expected to do even more.”