N’Golo Kante has described himself as just ‘someone who plays football’ in a typically humble assessment of his unquestionable talent.A Premier League winner with Leicester and Chelsea, the 28-year-old also lifted the World Cup last summer with France after playing a pivotal role in Les Bleus’ thoroughly deserved triumph in Russia.
Lauded as one of world football’s finest midfielders, Kante continues to perform at the highest level with seemingly effortless ease, playing for a Chelsea side that sit in the Premier League top four heading into their crunch clash with Manchester City on Saturday.Despite consistently contributing to every side he plays in with endless running, crucial tackles and the odd foray forward, Kante made the rather expectant claim that the most pleasing aspect of his job is simply winning.“It is not a special skill,” he told The New York Times. “My favourite thing is when we lift a trophy. Afterward, we can have a picture of us lifting a trophy. And that picture shows a lot of work, a lot of difficulty and a lot of sacrifice together. “That is what it takes, to lift a trophy. From one picture, I can have many memories. The biggest satisfaction of all, is to win.”A generally shy character in the public eye, Kante’s role on the pitch works parallel to his persona. Taking a backseat to the more expressive players on the pitch who often earn the headlines, the Frenchman revealed that his sudden rise through the ranks of European football has not changed his outlook, and that his shyness does not constitute a lack of confidence.“I have always been discreet in my life,” he added. “But it has never been a problem playing. At first, I was playing in front of 10 people in a park, then 1,000, then 10,000, then 80,000 and you are on television. I have done it step by step, so it is not a problem. There is no lack of confidence to be on the field, in front of many, many people.”
While earning himself a reputation as a midfielder of the highest quality, Kante finished by insisting he is nothing special in the world of football, instead offering a humble assessment of him as a player.He concluded: “I am not a superstar or an ego. I am just the same as I always was: Someone who plays football.”