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7. N'Golo Kante


Special Juan
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He really deserves Ballon d'Or this year. I usually don't care much about individual awards, but it's about time a Chelsea player wins this. Lately Eden was the closest we got, but during his spell in London Messi and Ronaldo were still at the top of their game and we never really had a great Champions League campaign in that period which definitely didn't help his chances.

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I'm in love with N'Golo We got him for the low low I'm in love with N'Golo  

One poor game (his passing was shit yes) and one of our most consistent players this season and reasons why we are top of the league needs a long term replacement. speechless.

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He deserves it and I hope he gets it, even if it takes France, beating Germany next week but I don't think it would make him our greatest ever player. He has been here for just 5 years. If he makes it another 5-7 of similalry excellent service then  for sure he would be in the conversation.

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2 hours ago, Jas said:

Fabregas on Kante...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/euro-2021/2021/06/14/humble-funny-great-little-dark-side-real-ngolinho-kante/

It was Eden Hazard and I who gave N’Golo Kante his Brazilian nickname of N’Golinho when we were all at Chelsea together and I still use it to this day.

Obviously, it was a bit of fun but it showed how highly we rated N’Golo and how we appreciated some of the parts of his game that maybe other people didn’t see. Now everyone sees what an incredible player he is and, even if France do not win the Euros, N’Golinho is one of the greatest-ever players in his position.

If France, who are my favourites for the tournament, do win the Euros then there will be a very strong case for N’Golo to win the Ballon d’Or having already added the Champions League to his World Cup and Premier League titles.

I remember when he joined Chelsea, he was very shy, he wasn’t talking a lot. He had to move the ball a little bit quicker and always look forwards because sometimes it felt like he saw the pass forwards but he was not doing it, or at least was not taking the risk to find the little pockets where Eden, Willian or Pedro used to play.

N’Golo was very much the style of player that Antonio Conte wanted in midfield, someone powerful who could run a lot, who was aggressive and who could make good recoveries. But under Antonio, he improved a lot going forwards and passing forwards, and that took him to another level.

His dribbling could surprise you. He’s seen as a defensive midfielder who makes all these tackles and recoveries and it’s fantastic, but sometimes we wouldn’t see him lose the ball. He can run with the ball, break lines and dribble, and sometimes, just because it’s him, we don’t appreciate these things. So that’s maybe why we started to call him N’Golinho. He’s one of the most complete midfielders in the world, for sure.

I remember N’Golo made an assist once for Eden at Bournemouth. He played a long ball over the top and Eden beat the keeper and scored. We used to train that a lot, a lot, a lot, nearly every day, and the day after when we were re-watching the game and analysing it, Antonio was so happy with him because it was exactly what he wanted.

N’Golo is a quiet, shy boy, but once you get to know him you can have a lot of fun with him and he’s a very funny guy when he’s in the mood and at certain moments in training. He used to come on the back of the bus, playing games and cards or whatever it was, and have a laugh.

Everybody knows he is a really good human being. One day, we met in the morning, we were playing at night, and everyone was ‘where’s N’Golo, where’s N’Golo, we’re starting the meeting’ and normally he was always on time. Eventually, he arrived and everyone started clapping and Antonio said ‘what’s happened?’ And he was telling us that he’s had a car crash and some people couldn’t believe it was him and they were taking pictures and he wanted to be polite. His car was all damaged and the wing mirror had to be taped back on, but he still stopped for photographs, even though it made him late!

But N’Golo has a little dark side as well that I like, which I still see now when I watch him on television. He doesn’t lose his temper, but, If you watch, you will see that he does not mind fouling an opponent or getting a yellow card and he will not apologise or be nice to the other guy, he will just walk away. I like this and it gives a message to the opponent that N’Golo will not be too nice on the pitch. To be a really top player, you need this. If you are nice on the pitch, then they eat you alive and I smile when I see his darker side.

We saw this season that N’Golo is a big-game player with his incredible performance in the Champions League final against Manchester City and I could always see, like all the best players, that he could raise his game to another level for the big games. This is the sign of a big player. I remember two games against Manchester United that we won, one was the FA Cup final. The same day of the final, I think it was Ramadan and it was so hot that day. We were having lunch and I asked N’Golo if he would eat and he said ‘no’ because he was fasting and I was worried he might not be able to run. But he had a fantastic game and I still don’t know how he managed to do that, with the heat. It makes me respect him even more because I wouldn’t be able to do that and he had an amazing final.

It gives you a lot of security, insurance when you play next to N’Golo. The way he recovers, he never loses possession and his interceptions. We had a good understanding because I used to like the fact he recovered the ball and he’d release it quickly to me. He’s so, so smart and he knows how to make the most of his strengths. And when it was me and Tiemoue Bakayoko ahead of N’Golo, he was amazing as well. I could go forwards knowing that there was this superman behind me, running for all of us. It was actually incredible. 

Maybe I can understand that without playing with him or knowing him, it was hard for people to appreciate how much he does and how good he is, but I think more and more people are realising that once you have N’Golo on your team your percentage chance of winning games and tournaments increases a lot. If you asked all of the big players in the world now if they wanted N’Golo in their team, they would all say ‘yes’ without a question.

Football was a little bit different when I played in the very good Spain and Barcelona teams, because then it was not so much about running. But, definitely, N’Golo could have played in those teams, he is that level. There is Claude Makelele and I played with a very good defensive midfielder with Spain, Marcos Senna, but there is no doubt N’Golo is one of the greatest in his position.

I’m not always sure how the Ballon d’Or is decided, often my pick is wrong, but as a friend and a team-mate who competed next to him for three years I would love it if N’Golinho got this award. He will have a big, big chance if he can help France become European champions after already becoming a European champion with Chelsea.

So much THIS! :

But N’Golo has a little dark side as well that I like, which I still see now when I watch him on television. He doesn’t lose his temper, but, If you watch, you will see that he does not mind fouling an opponent or getting a yellow card and he will not apologise or be nice to the other guy, he will just walk away. I like this and it gives a message to the opponent that N’Golo will not be too nice on the pitch. To be a really top player, you need this. If you are nice on the pitch, then they eat you alive and I smile when I see his darker side.

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A humble, funny great - with a little dark side: The real 'N'Golinho' Kante

8437f23d62d1efe6ed3761f77fde8069.png

Plus, our Euro 2020 columnist explains why Timo Werner will come good

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/euro-2021/2021/06/14/humble-funny-great-little-dark-side-real-ngolinho-kante/

TELEMMGLPICT000260299987_trans_NvBQzQNjv4Bq6azNt8wAz2XAAUPK6ZL8iNumhbybJruQTq4s9YorAIU.jpeg?imwidth=1280

 

It was Eden Hazard and I who gave N’Golo Kante his Brazilian nickname of N’Golinho when we were all at Chelsea together and I still use it to this day.

Obviously, it was a bit of fun but it showed how highly we rated N’Golo and how we appreciated some of the parts of his game that maybe other people didn’t see. Now everyone sees what an incredible player he is and, even if France do not win the Euros, N’Golinho is one of the greatest-ever players in his position.

If France, who are my favourites for the tournament, do win the Euros then there will be a very strong case for N’Golo to win the Ballon d’Or having already added the Champions League to his World Cup and Premier League titles.

I remember when he joined Chelsea, he was very shy, he wasn’t talking a lot. He had to move the ball a little bit quicker and always look forwards because sometimes it felt like he saw the pass forwards but he was not doing it, or at least was not taking the risk to find the little pockets where Eden, Willian or Pedro used to play.

N’Golo was very much the style of player that Antonio Conte wanted in midfield, someone powerful who could run a lot, who was aggressive and who could make good recoveries. But under Antonio, he improved a lot going forwards and passing forwards, and that took him to another level.

His dribbling could surprise you. He’s seen as a defensive midfielder who makes all these tackles and recoveries and it’s fantastic, but sometimes we wouldn’t see him lose the ball. He can run with the ball, break lines and dribble, and sometimes, just because it’s him, we don’t appreciate these things. So that’s maybe why we started to call him N’Golinho. He’s one of the most complete midfielders in the world, for sure.

9c03183212dd406ec0ec165dc8fed906.png

 

I remember N’Golo made an assist once for Eden at Bournemouth. He played a long ball over the top and Eden beat the keeper and scored. We used to train that a lot, a lot, a lot, nearly every day, and the day after when we were re-watching the game and analysing it, Antonio was so happy with him because it was exactly what he wanted.

N’Golo is a quiet, shy boy, but once you get to know him you can have a lot of fun with him and he’s a very funny guy when he’s in the mood and at certain moments in training. He used to come on the back of the bus, playing games and cards or whatever it was, and have a laugh.

Everybody knows he is a really good human being. One day, we met in the morning, we were playing at night, and everyone was ‘where’s N’Golo, where’s N’Golo, we’re starting the meeting’ and normally he was always on time. Eventually, he arrived and everyone started clapping and Antonio said ‘what’s happened?’ And he was telling us that he’s had a car crash and some people couldn’t believe it was him and they were taking pictures and he wanted to be polite. His car was all damaged and the wing mirror had to be taped back on, but he still stopped for photographs, even though it made him late!

But N’Golo has a little dark side as well that I like, which I still see now when I watch him on television. He doesn’t lose his temper, but, If you watch, you will see that he does not mind fouling an opponent or getting a yellow card and he will not apologise or be nice to the other guy, he will just walk away. I like this and it gives a message to the opponent that N’Golo will not be too nice on the pitch. To be a really top player, you need this. If you are nice on the pitch, then they eat you alive and I smile when I see his darker side.

We saw this season that N’Golo is a big-game player with his incredible performance in the Champions League final against Manchester City and I could always see, like all the best players, that he could raise his game to another level for the big games. This is the sign of a big player. I remember two games against Manchester United that we won, one was the FA Cup final. The same day of the final, I think it was Ramadan and it was so hot that day. We were having lunch and I asked N’Golo if he would eat and he said ‘no’ because he was fasting and I was worried he might not be able to run. But he had a fantastic game and I still don’t know how he managed to do that, with the heat. It makes me respect him even more because I wouldn’t be able to do that and he had an amazing final.

It gives you a lot of security, insurance when you play next to N’Golo. The way he recovers, he never loses possession and his interceptions. We had a good understanding because I used to like the fact he recovered the ball and he’d release it quickly to me. He’s so, so smart and he knows how to make the most of his strengths. And when it was me and Tiemoue Bakayoko ahead of N’Golo, he was amazing as well. I could go forwards knowing that there was this superman behind me, running for all of us. It was actually incredible. 

TELEMMGLPICT000138204676_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqKSjdeny70HHE0gDjnto10T8tB72idHOmexjRwcRrmZ0.jpeg?imwidth=1280

 

Maybe I can understand that without playing with him or knowing him, it was hard for people to appreciate how much he does and how good he is, but I think more and more people are realising that once you have N’Golo on your team your percentage chance of winning games and tournaments increases a lot. If you asked all of the big players in the world now if they wanted N’Golo in their team, they would all say ‘yes’ without a question.

Football was a little bit different when I played in the very good Spain and Barcelona teams, because then it was not so much about running. But, definitely, N’Golo could have played in those teams, he is that level. There is Claude Makelele and I played with a very good defensive midfielder with Spain, Marcos Senna, but there is no doubt N’Golo is one of the greatest in his position.

I’m not always sure how the Ballon d’Or is decided, often my pick is wrong, but as a friend and a team-mate who competed next to him for three years I would love it if N’Golinho got this award. He will have a big, big chance if he can help France become European champions after already becoming a European champion with Chelsea. 
---------------

Keep passing to Timo Werner - he will come good

I watch every single Chelsea game, so I’ve followed the first seasons of the club’s two big German signings, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, very closely and I am convinced next season we will start to really see the best of them.

As a midfielder who likes to make assists, I have played behind strikers before who are going through a bad time or suffering with their confidence. It’s a bit of both that it can be frustrating that they miss chances, but I would also be thinking at some time Werner will score.

The most important thing is that he keeps making the runs, that his timing is good, that he’s not offside and with his speed he will always get chances. Players like Werner are so valuable nowadays because players want the ball at their feet a lot and, as a midfielder, you would like this type of player to run on to your passes.

I’d definitely still keep trying to find him in games because when your own team-mates start doubting you, this is the worst feeling you can have because you feel it. What I like is to talk to people always in a positive way, even if in training they miss then you say ‘well done, the next one will go in’. Even if it has to be 100 times. Football is so much about confidence and what’s in your head and especially strikers who depend so much on scoring or not scoring. If they miss, it’s when you need to support them the most.

TELEMMGLPICT000260704533_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqjZCqkh21MTy1LvXE-PcUNTlPXAu0p3NtgZumIx9lFXo.jpeg?imwidth=1280

I was talking to my Monaco team-mate Kevin Volland, who was a team-mate of Havertz at Bayer Leverkusen, and he told me that Havertz would usually struggle a little bit at the start of seasons to get going, but that once he gets a clear ride and is mentally good then he’s a fantastic player. 

Havertz didn’t start very, very well at Chelsea and sometimes he looked off the pace. But once Thomas Tuchel put him in a false nine position, it was working better. He didn’t have to touch a lot of the ball, but he helped the team tick. He was not losing the ball, he made everyone else secure, he was creating stuff. And I think at the end of the season, he was very, very good.

I saw that both Werner and Havertz scored for Germany in their last warm-up game, so, hopefully, they can have a good tournament and, definitely, I think we will see different players for Chelsea next season. 

---------------

We held loved ones tighter after Eriksen

I want to send my best wishes and prayers to Christian Eriksen after what happened on Saturday, when football was not important.

I was in the studio covering the Denmark game for the BBC and none of us could believe what we were seeing and it was so hard to find the right words.

Moments like that remind you how precious life is and I think everyone was very emotional. We all held our loved ones a little tighter that night.

The most important thing is that the news on Christian improved and now everybody will continue to pray that he is ok.

Edited by Vesper
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On 14/06/2021 at 12:41, Jas said:

Fabregas on Kante...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/euro-2021/2021/06/14/humble-funny-great-little-dark-side-real-ngolinho-kante/

It was Eden Hazard and I who gave N’Golo Kante his Brazilian nickname of N’Golinho when we were all at Chelsea together and I still use it to this day.

Obviously, it was a bit of fun but it showed how highly we rated N’Golo and how we appreciated some of the parts of his game that maybe other people didn’t see. Now everyone sees what an incredible player he is and, even if France do not win the Euros, N’Golinho is one of the greatest-ever players in his position.

If France, who are my favourites for the tournament, do win the Euros then there will be a very strong case for N’Golo to win the Ballon d’Or having already added the Champions League to his World Cup and Premier League titles.

I remember when he joined Chelsea, he was very shy, he wasn’t talking a lot. He had to move the ball a little bit quicker and always look forwards because sometimes it felt like he saw the pass forwards but he was not doing it, or at least was not taking the risk to find the little pockets where Eden, Willian or Pedro used to play.

N’Golo was very much the style of player that Antonio Conte wanted in midfield, someone powerful who could run a lot, who was aggressive and who could make good recoveries. But under Antonio, he improved a lot going forwards and passing forwards, and that took him to another level.

His dribbling could surprise you. He’s seen as a defensive midfielder who makes all these tackles and recoveries and it’s fantastic, but sometimes we wouldn’t see him lose the ball. He can run with the ball, break lines and dribble, and sometimes, just because it’s him, we don’t appreciate these things. So that’s maybe why we started to call him N’Golinho. He’s one of the most complete midfielders in the world, for sure.

I remember N’Golo made an assist once for Eden at Bournemouth. He played a long ball over the top and Eden beat the keeper and scored. We used to train that a lot, a lot, a lot, nearly every day, and the day after when we were re-watching the game and analysing it, Antonio was so happy with him because it was exactly what he wanted.

N’Golo is a quiet, shy boy, but once you get to know him you can have a lot of fun with him and he’s a very funny guy when he’s in the mood and at certain moments in training. He used to come on the back of the bus, playing games and cards or whatever it was, and have a laugh.

Everybody knows he is a really good human being. One day, we met in the morning, we were playing at night, and everyone was ‘where’s N’Golo, where’s N’Golo, we’re starting the meeting’ and normally he was always on time. Eventually, he arrived and everyone started clapping and Antonio said ‘what’s happened?’ And he was telling us that he’s had a car crash and some people couldn’t believe it was him and they were taking pictures and he wanted to be polite. His car was all damaged and the wing mirror had to be taped back on, but he still stopped for photographs, even though it made him late!

But N’Golo has a little dark side as well that I like, which I still see now when I watch him on television. He doesn’t lose his temper, but, If you watch, you will see that he does not mind fouling an opponent or getting a yellow card and he will not apologise or be nice to the other guy, he will just walk away. I like this and it gives a message to the opponent that N’Golo will not be too nice on the pitch. To be a really top player, you need this. If you are nice on the pitch, then they eat you alive and I smile when I see his darker side.

We saw this season that N’Golo is a big-game player with his incredible performance in the Champions League final against Manchester City and I could always see, like all the best players, that he could raise his game to another level for the big games. This is the sign of a big player. I remember two games against Manchester United that we won, one was the FA Cup final. The same day of the final, I think it was Ramadan and it was so hot that day. We were having lunch and I asked N’Golo if he would eat and he said ‘no’ because he was fasting and I was worried he might not be able to run. But he had a fantastic game and I still don’t know how he managed to do that, with the heat. It makes me respect him even more because I wouldn’t be able to do that and he had an amazing final.

It gives you a lot of security, insurance when you play next to N’Golo. The way he recovers, he never loses possession and his interceptions. We had a good understanding because I used to like the fact he recovered the ball and he’d release it quickly to me. He’s so, so smart and he knows how to make the most of his strengths. And when it was me and Tiemoue Bakayoko ahead of N’Golo, he was amazing as well. I could go forwards knowing that there was this superman behind me, running for all of us. It was actually incredible. 

Maybe I can understand that without playing with him or knowing him, it was hard for people to appreciate how much he does and how good he is, but I think more and more people are realising that once you have N’Golo on your team your percentage chance of winning games and tournaments increases a lot. If you asked all of the big players in the world now if they wanted N’Golo in their team, they would all say ‘yes’ without a question.

Football was a little bit different when I played in the very good Spain and Barcelona teams, because then it was not so much about running. But, definitely, N’Golo could have played in those teams, he is that level. There is Claude Makelele and I played with a very good defensive midfielder with Spain, Marcos Senna, but there is no doubt N’Golo is one of the greatest in his position.

I’m not always sure how the Ballon d’Or is decided, often my pick is wrong, but as a friend and a team-mate who competed next to him for three years I would love it if N’Golinho got this award. He will have a big, big chance if he can help France become European champions after already becoming a European champion with Chelsea.

damn I reposted it, I did not see you had put it up, lol

I put in the pics though 😜

 

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On 06/06/2021 at 14:05, Magic Lamps said:

He deserves it and I hope he gets it, even if it takes France, beating Germany next week but I don't think it would make him our greatest ever player. He has been here for just 5 years. If he makes it another 5-7 of similalry excellent service then  for sure he would be in the conversation.

I honestly think this Ballon d’Or hype for Kante is crazy, he played very well in some key moments under Tuchel and huge reason for CL. He was not at his best under Lampard and so far in the Euros he has been subpar. Pogba his teammate is out performing him, freaking Renato Sanches bossed the midfield against him.

would love for Chelsea player to win the award, and Kante seems like a incredible person. I hope he wins, but no I don’t think he is the best player or had the best season. 

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23 minutes ago, Clockwork said:

I honestly think this Ballon d’Or hype for Kante is crazy, he played very well in some key moments under Tuchel and huge reason for CL. He was not at his best under Lampard and so far in the Euros he has been subpar. Pogba his teammate is out performing him, freaking Renato Sanches bossed the midfield against him.

would love for Chelsea player to win the award, and Kante seems like a incredible person. I hope he wins, but no I don’t think he is the best player or had the best season. 

We never saw this Kante until TT came in, last time I saw him be this fucking good was under Conte and some might claim this is the best we have seen him.

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