Barely 6 years ago, N’Golo Kanté played for Caen in the French second division. The palmares that the midfielder has built up since then looks impressive: league titles with Leicester City and Chelsea, the FA Cup, the world title with France and yesterday also the Champions League.

“He’s really unbelievably good,” ex-Chelsea player Joe Cole waved praise on British channel BT Sport. “My jaw drops when I see him play football. I played with Claude Makelele at Chelsea. He was the best in that position until Kante came. That’s an even better version of Makelele.”

“Like a striker has a nose for goals, Kante has a kind of instinct in midfield. Gundogan, Silva and Foden were not involved, because Kante was everywhere.”

Brazilian Ramires, also ex-Chelsea, thinks Kante can win the Golden Ball. “He is a stunning player. He shows up everywhere: in defence, in midfield, in attack. His level is really impressive. It is not easy for a defensive midfielder to win the Golden Ball, but Kante would deserve it.” said Ramires.

Kanté himself kept to his modest self. “This is the result of hard work,” said the 30-year-old Frenchman. “That we have won the final is the work of the whole team. I am very proud.”

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