Biography

N’Golo Kante

N'Golo Kante is a French footballer currently at Chelsea. Find out more about N'Golo in our in-depth biography

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante Photo: Premier League

N’Golo Kante is a French footballer who currently plays for Premier League club Chelsea.

The France international moved to Chelsea from Leicester City in 2016 after the defensive midfielder helped the Foxes win an unprecedented Premier League title.

Kante was a key player in Claudio Ranieri’s historic title-winning Leicester side in 2014-15 season before he completed a move to Chelsea in a lucrative £30m deal.

N’Golo became the first Premier League player to win the title in successive seasons with different clubs.

He won the PFA player of the year award in April 2017 as Kante helped Chelsea to win the 2016-17 Premier League crown.

Kante has become a key member of the France national team since his emergence as a top Premier League player.

Personal Information:

Date of birth: 29 March 1991
Age: 27 years old
Place of birth: Paris, France
Nationality: French
Height: 168cm / 5ft 6 ins
Weight: 68kg / 150 lbs
Wages: £110,000 a week
Transfer value: £32 million

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Early life

Photo: N’Golo Kante / Instagram

N’Golo was born in the French capital and started his football career at the age of eight with JS Suresnes in the western suburbs of Paris.

He honed his skills at the club for a decade but didn’t attract much interest from France’s big clubs due to his small stature.

Boulogne

The JS Suresnes president helped Kante to secure a move to Boulogne in 2010.

Kante made his professional debut as a substitute 2-1 loss to French giants AS Monaco in the final game of the Ligue 2 season in 2011-12.

N’Golo got plenty of first-team experience when Boulogne dropped to Championnat National in France’s third tier. The defensive midfielder scored three times in 37 games as he missed out one game in the 2012-13 season.

Caen

Kante secured a move back to Ligue 2 in 2013 when the holding midfielder completed a move to Caen from Boulogne.

N’Golo was a key part of the Caen team that achieved promotion to the French top flight after he started all 38 games in his first season at his new club.

Kante continued to build a steady reputation during his second season at Caen to help the club remain in Ligue 1.

He missed one game through suspension and scored two goals in 38 games to catch the eye of a Premier League club.

Kante won the ball back more than any other player in Europe in the 2014-15 season.

Leicester City

Photo: N’Golo Kante / Instagram

Everton scout Steve Walsh played a crucial role in Leicester City’s decision to sign Kante from Caen in August 2015.

Working as the Foxes’ chief scout, Walsh recalled how he walked past manager Claudio Ranieri in the corridor and whispered, “Kante, Kante”.

N’Golo completed a £5.8m move to Leicester from Caen on 3 August and the defensive midfielder signed a four-year contract with the Foxes.

Kante made his debut in Leicester’s 4-2 victory over Sunderland in August as a late substitute for England international Jamie Vardy.

His first Premier League start came in Leicester’s 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on 29 August.

Kante’s first Premier League goal came in a 2-1 victory over Watford on 7 November to cap a brilliant start to his Leicester career.

N’Golo wasted no time earning some admirers in the Premier League with his tireless performances in Claudio Ranieri’s team.

Kante established himself as one of the Premier League’s most proficient ball winners during the 2015-16 season.

However, the French star produced some important assists in victories over Manchester City, Swansea City, Norwich City and West Ham United.

Kante scored one goal and made four assists in 37 appearances in the Premier League to help Leicester win the title against the odds.

He ended the season with some incredible defensive stats after he made 175 tackles (31 more than any other player) and 157 interceptions (15 more than any other player).

N’Golo was named in the 2015-16 PFA Premier League team of the year alongside his team-mates Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and Wes Morgan.

The holding midfielder was named Leicester’s player of the year for his vital contribution despite missing out on the PFA player of the year award to Foxes attacker Mahrez.

Chelsea

Photo: N’Golo Kante / Instagram

Kante completed a £32m move to Chelsea from Leicester City on 16 July 2016.

The France international signed a five-year contract with the west London side to bolster Antonio Conte’s midfield.

Kante opted to wear the number seven shirt following Ramires’ departure to China.

N’Golo made his debut in Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over West Ham United in their opening Premier League game of the 2016-17 season.

The defensive midfielder was tasked with helping Chelsea to bounce back from a disappointing tenth-placed finish in 2015-16 campaign.

Kante was named man of the match in Chelsea’s 3-0 win against his former club and defending champions Leicester City.

Perhaps one of his most important goals came in a 4-0 victory over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge with a second-half strike in October 2016.

Kante was a regular in the Chelsea team throughout the 2016-17 season despite having a number of different midfield partners, including Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic.

N’Golo scored his second Chelsea goal in a 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-final at Stamford Bridge to secure their place in the last four.

Kante helped Chelsea to get over the line in the title race as the Blues won the Premier League crown with two games to spare back in May.

In doing so, the Parisian-born star became the first footballer to win the English top flight in back-to-back seasons with different clubs since his compatriot Eric Cantona in 1993.

Kante’s contribution to Chelsea was recognised when his fellow professionals voted him the PFA player of the year after he missed out to Mahrez in the previous season.

The Chelsea number seven was also named the Football Writers’ player of the year following his outstanding performances in Conte’s title-winning team. He was also nominated for the Ballon d’Or.

The Blues signed Kante’s compatriot Tiemoue Bakayoko in a £40m deal from Ligue 1 champions AS Monaco in the summer.

The defensive midfielder scored against former club Leicester once again in a 2-1 win at King Power Stadium back in September to open his account for the 2017-18 Premier League season.

Kante missed a month of club football due to a fitness setback before N’Golo returned to help Chelsea ease to a 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in October 2017.

The French star finished the season with 51 appearances in all competitions.

He started Chelsea FC’s 1-0 win against Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

International career

Photo: N’Golo Kante / Instagram

N’Golo had the option to play for Mali following in the footsteps of former Premier League footballers Freddie Kanoute and Momo Sissoko.

However, he turned down the chance to represents his parents’ country of birth at the 2015 African Cup of Nations.

Mali made a number of attempts to lure Kante to their international set-up but the defensive midfielder opted to focus on his club career.

He earned his first France call-up to face the Netherlands and Russia in March 2016. Kante made his les Bleus debut in a 3-2 win over the Dutch at Stade de France after he replaced former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Lassana Diarra.

N’Golo made his first France start in a 3-2 win against Russia later in March and capped his debut with his first goal in the blue shirt of his country of birth.

Kante was named in Didier Deschamps’ France squad for the European championship on home soil. He completed 90 minutes in their narrow win over Romania in June 2016.

He completed 90 minutes in a 2-0 victory over Albania before the France head coach rested Kante for their final group game against Switzerland.

Kante was replaced at half-time of France’s 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland as the hosts came from behind to secure their place in the last eight.

The Chelsea midfielder played 70 minutes of their 2-0 victory over world champions Germany in the semi-final but Kante was an unused substitute in France’s 1-0 extra-time loss to Portugal in the Euro 2016 showpiece.

Kante has scored one goal in 20 international appearances. He will be hoping to secure a place in Deschamps’ squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Personal life

Photo: N’Golo Kante / Instagram

Kante has managed to stay out of the spotlight despite his rise and rise in the Premier League.

His parents migrated from Mali to Paris in the 1980s and N’Golo grew up in modest conditions in the French capital.

The Chelsea star has a staggering four brothers and five sisters.

Kante commuted to Boulogne for training on a kick scooter, although the midfielder has since upgraded to a Mini Cooper.

Interesting facts about N’Golo Kante

• Kante has drawn comparisons to Chelsea, France and Real Madrid legend Claude Makelele during his professional career so far.

• However, the Chelsea midfielder has revealed that his footballing idol was former Arsenal and Blues star Lassana Diarra.

• Kante has won two Premier League titles in his career so far with Leicester and Chelsea.

• N’Golo’s sister also represented JS Suresnes at youth level.

• Kante’s first car was a battered Renault Megane before he upgraded to the Mini Cooper that the Chelsea star currently drives.

• N’Golo has a diploma in accountancy which he secured thanks to his studies over a 24-month period at Boulogne.

• He was rejected by Amiens, Sochaux, Rennes, Lorient and AS Beauvais Oise before he moved to Boulougne.

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