The Dutch legend wished for someone like N’Golo Kante to win the Ballon d’Or after the Frenchman’s exceptional season with Chelsea.
N’Golo Kante hit the ground running during Leicester City’s title-winning season and has never really looked back since. The diminutive midfielder has since won the Premier League with Chelsea and the Champions League back in May. He was also a key member of France’ World Cup-winning side.
The Frenchman has become a key member of this Chelsea side while growing a reputation as a powerhouse midfielder in world football. Many had tipped Kante to win the Ballon d’Or this time, after the Champions League victory, although the claim would have more weightage had France won the Euros in the summer.
At club level, his performances haven’t gone unnoticed, as Kante proves his influence at Chelsea as the Blues competes on all fronts this season. The Frenchman has long confirmed his status as one of the best midfielders in world football, and winning the coveted individual title would only cement his place in history.
There were suggestions during the summer; his Chelsea midfield partner Jorginho be awarded the coveted prize after the Italian was instrumental in winning the Euros. It’s a close call between both midfielders, who have different roles in the team, and are not direct competitors or rivals.
Former Dutch international and legend Rudd Gullit believes someone like Kante should win the Ballon d’Or. He also lamented the well-known fact about goalscorers being preferred to take the coveted title and points to a certain Italian legend, Franco Baresi, who never won the individual honour despite a glowing reputation.
Gullit said, “It’s a bit the same story as Baresi’s. He could not win the Ballon d’Or despite his level. Players who score goals always steal the show. It would be nice if, for once, someone who is not in the limelight could win. Someone like Kante played so well, and he deserves it too.”
Kante’s status as one of the best in the game currently is undoubted. However, a Ballon d’Or win will not be easy with Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski also very much in the picture, while Lionel Messi is also a strong contender for the coveted prize. It remains to be seen who ends up lifting the honour this year.