IS there nothing Chelsea star N’Golo Kante can’t do?
Back-to-back Premier League titles, making the Ballon d’Or shortlist… and even being a fully-qualified accountant.
As well as being a sensationally-gifted footballer, the French midfielder recently revealed his other potential career path.
Kante claimed: “I got my qualification in accountancy, but now I prefer to concentrate on football.”
With that in mind, we take a look at seven completely true facts about Kante…
1. MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
AS mentioned, Kante is genuinely a fully-qualified accountant, after studying it as a teenager – when worried he wouldn’t cut it in professional football.
Kante said: “I was at Boulogne, in the second team – the sixth, then the fifth division.
“I wasn’t professional, so I kept studying because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make a living as a footballer.
“When I was 18, I got my baccalaureate [the French A-Level equivalent] and after that I did two more years of study in accountancy.
“When I went up to the first-team, I became professional, so I stopped studying.
“I got my qualification in accountancy, but now I prefer to concentrate on football.”
2. MINI ADVENTURE
WHILE his Chelsea team-mates all arrive for training in luxury super-cars, Kante prefers something a little more modest.
Arguably the best defensive midfielder on the planet, the Frenchman has had plenty of opportunities to improve his ride.
On top of his £110,000-a-week wages easily covering a top-of-the-range motor, Leicester’s stars were all given BMW i8s by Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha on winning the league in 2015-16.
However, Kante still drives the second-hand Mini Cooper S… as it was a gift from someone when he arrived in England with very little money and no car.
On his Mini, the midfield maestro claimed: “Me, I’ve never been someone who loves a car and when I was young I didn’t have the ambition of a car or something like that.
“But my Mini, for the beginning, was good to learn to drive on the left. I got it in Leicester. And I still have it now. But it’s good.”
3. NINE LIVES
BELIEVE it or not, arguably the world’s best midfielder was playing in the NINTH tier of French football just seven years ago.
Playing at Surenses in the suburbs of Paris, Kante has had to work tirelessly to make it to the Premier League.
He moved to Boulogne in the third tier where team-mate Cedric Fabien described the diminutive star a “monster”.
Fabien claimed: “Off the field he was quiet but on the pitch he turned into a monster.
“I’ve never seen in my life someone run, run and run like he did.
“He was so naturally fit he could have finished a match and then gone home and done a marathon… and then probably have a kickabout with his friends!”
4. SCOOT OVER
BACK in his Boulogne days, between 2010 and 2013, Kante couldn’t afford a car.
Instead, the Frenchman would use a push scooter – nothing more than a child’s toy – to get himself to and from training.
Occasionally, Kante would ditch it altogether and run to training… something he would even do in his Leicester days.
5. MARSEILLE IT AIN’T SO?
KANTE nearly opted to go to Marseille back in 2015… rather than join Leicester.
The French midfielder revealed he wanted to follow in the footsteps of club legends like Franck Ribery and Samir Nasri.
Kante said: “Among the clubs that most wanted to recruit me were Marseille and Leicester.
“I thought I had to go through a stage in France.
“I remember the generation of [Mamadou] Niang, [Franck] Ribery and [Samir] Nasri and it was a team that I liked, especially in the Champions League.”
Of course, Kante joined Leicester and the rest, as they say, is history.
6. LOVES HIS LASS
HOLDING midfielder, making the position his own, playing for Chelsea… we could easily be describing Claude Makelele rather than Kante.
Makelele was so good they even named the position after him – “The Makelele Role” – but Kante preferred Lassana Diarra growing up.
A dynamic, tireless box-to-box midfielder, perhaps Kante is even more in the Diarra role, than Makelele.
Diarra, still only 32-years-old, currently plays for Al-Jazira following stints at Arsenal, Chelsea, Portsmouth, Real Madrid and Marseille, to name a few.
7. HISTORY BOY
TECHNICALLY, you could argue Kante is the first and only player to win back-to-back Premier League titles with two different clubs.
The French star famously won the league with Leicester in 2015-16 and Chelsea in 2016-17.
However, former Foxes team-mate Mark Schwarzer won the league with the Blues in 2014-15 and then with Leicester a season later.
While that would make the Australian goalkeeper the first man to achieve the feat, he played ZERO games in either season.
Meanwhile, Kante of course was an integral figure in both sides…