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Kante on Ballon d’Or hopes: It’s a great reward but there’s a long way to go

16:50 BST 06/06/2021
N'Golo Kante Chelsea 2020-21
The Chelsea midfielder is already one of the frontrunners for the illustrious award thanks to his stellar Champions League displays

Chelsea and France star N’Golo Kante has played down his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or.

Kante has emerged as one of the favourites for the competition thanks to his stellar performances that helped Chelsea win the Champions League.

Defensively orientated players rarely win such illustrious prizes, yet Kante is a frontrunner for the game’s foremost individual award after being named man of the match in both legs of the semi-final against Real Madrid and then again in the 1-0 win over Manchester City in the final.

What did Kante say on the Ballon d’Or?

“It's a bit early to talk about it now. We are in the middle of the year, there are six months left, and lots of matches and competitions to play. It’s not necessary to say today that I deserve it,” he told a press conference.

“A few years ago I was in the top 10. It was the first time and it was nice. But winning it is another story.

“It's a great individual reward. I see it as the result of a good season for the players. It's not a goal I'm working on. Those who won it in the past are players who have achieved great things during their career.”

Kante on his popularity

Meanwhile, Kante finished ahead of Kylian Mbappe in a poll, conducted by Odaxa, of France’s most popular players, the results of which were released on Saturday.

While Mbappe was more popular with the general public, Kante came out on top when just those who identified as football supporters were considered.

“I don't pay much attention and I focus on the goals of the team. It can touch me a little, but we try to do what we have always done. Be natural, give the best of yourself on the pitch. As for the praise, it is exaggerated, and it's not necessary,” Kante said.

His future

Finally, he considered his future, which he says is something he does not think about.

“I've been at Chelsea for five years,” he said. “I have had many good years there and hope to have many more. The Champions League is the climax of five years spent at the club. My future is not something I consider. I have two years of contract left and I feel good there.”

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