N’Golo Kante cruises around in a beat-up old Mini, frequents Asda for his grocery runs, and enjoys bonding with his supporters over a game of FIFA.
Here’s a profile on football’s most amiable player as he bids adieu to the Premier League:
The tale of Kante’s rise to stardom commences in the suburbs of Paris, where he excels as a teenager playing for the youth team of JS Suresnes, a local club. However, at that time, he’s noticeably smaller than his teammates. After being recognized as the player of the tournament, the diminutive midfielder (far left) watches as his friends lift his trophy.
Following a series of rejections from several Ligue 1 clubs, he secures an amateur contract with Boulogne. Despite playing for a third-tier team, he commutes to training on a child’s kick scooter. In addition to his football pursuits, he attends evening classes and earns accreditation as an accountant.
Upon joining Leicester in 2015, Kante’s teammates had to persuade him against running several miles to training every day. Additionally, Kante developed a friendship with a barber who supported Leicester and operated a salon called Suez Canal Hairstylz at a nearby mosque. Kante often visited the establishment and received haircuts for a mere £10.
Having made a pledge to abstain from running to work, Kante resolved to purchase a new vehicle. Despite his teammates opting for luxury cars like Bentleys and Range Rovers, Kante chose a cream-colored Mini Cooper. Even after damaging the car’s wing mirror in a collision with a lorry, he continued to use it as his mode of transportation to matches.
Years later, Kante still uses the cream Mini Cooper as his primary mode of transportation. Recently, he was spotted departing from Stamford Bridge following Chelsea’s qualification for the Champions League final.
When Cedric Kipre, a young academy player at Leicester, was evicted from his apartment, Kante extended a helping hand by offering him and his brother a place to stay for a month. Kipre expressed his gratitude by stating, “It was incredibly kind of him. N’Golo is one of the most modest people I’ve ever met.”
Upon joining Chelsea, the club proposed to deposit Kante’s wages into an offshore account. However, Kante refused and requested that his wages be sent to his regular bank account so that he could pay his taxes in full.
Despite earning a weekly wage of £290,000, Kante prefers to do his weekly grocery shopping at Asda, diligently looking for 2-for-1 offers. Additionally, he has little interest in lavish dining experiences and would rather enjoy a simple meal of dough balls and Sloppy Giuseppe at Pizza Express, rather than indulge in a gold leaf tomahawk steak.
On a separate occasion, Kante visited a restaurant in London where he made a significant impression on the owner. So much so, that the owner extended an invitation for Kante to attend his daughter’s wedding. Kante accepted the offer and arrived at the wedding donning his finest cardigan. During the event, he happily posed for photographs and mingled with the guests, engaging in friendly conversations.
When Kante missed his Eurostar train to Paris, he sought out a nearby mosque close to Kings Cross to perform his evening prayers. While there, he encountered an Arsenal fan who kindly invited him over for dinner. Kante accepted the invitation, and they returned to the fan’s home where they ordered a curry, played FIFA, and watched Kante’s highlights on Match of the Day.
Shortly after Chelsea’s 3-2 victory over Arsenal, Kante coincidentally ran into another supporter of the Gunners. Upon learning about the fan’s disappointment with the outcome of the game, Kante expressed his regret and apologized to the Arsenal supporter for the result.
During the World Cup celebration, the French team members took turns parading the trophy around the pitch in a jubilant display. However, Kante was too shy to request a turn with the trophy. Sensing Kante’s hesitance, Steven N’Zonzi intervened and grabbed the trophy before thrusting it into Kante’s arms, encouraging him to take his turn in the spotlight.
N’Golo Kante Places 5th at 2021 Ballon d’Or
N’Golo Kante with Ballon D’or On 8 October, Kanté was one of five Chelsea players included in the final 30-man shortlist for the 2021 Ballon d’Or. On 13 February 2022, he helped Chelsea to their first FIFA Club World Cup triumph in a 2–1 win over Palmeiras.