N’Golo Kante is strong on the pitch, but few people know that the French midfielder has experienced many events in life.
1. Picking up trash to earn money at the age of 3 because he was too poor
N’Golo Kanté was born in 1991 in France, grew up in a poor family with 8 siblings. Therefore, Kante worked on his own from a very early age, earning money to support his family by collecting trash in every corner when he was 3 years old.
2. Criticized for not being able to play football
Kante joined amateur club Suresnes when he was 9 years old. Pierre Ville, Suresnes’ secretary at the time, said: “When Kante first came to the team, he was half the size of the other kids.” But then, Kante surprised everyone when he was ready to play with even senior players.
3. Going through tough training
What impresses everyone with Kante is his patience and perseverance in every exercise even the most extreme: 20 seconds running with the ball, 20 seconds rest and 20 seconds running with the ball again. This exercise takes place for 5 minutes, and 5 times in a row.
4. The record for the smallest player in the Premier League
When participating in the Premier League arena, Kante received the unexpected record of being the shortest and lightest player: only 1.69 meters tall and 68 kg. In addition, the Malian French player also has a childish face that does not scare anyone.
5. Studying accounting for fear of poverty
“When I was with Boulogne, I knew that I was not a professional player. So, I went to school to prepare a fishing rod in case I couldn’t live on football. At the age of 18, I graduated from high school and two years later got a college degree in accounting,” Kante shared. But when he was promoted to the first team and moved to the French second division, Kante dropped out. Because Kante knows that playing football will help him make money, even a lot of money.
6. Too much money but still ride a classic car
To this day, Kante still drives a cheap Mini Cooper despite earning around £120,000 a week. It was a gift from a friend when Kante first arrived in England because he didn’t have enough money in his pocket to buy a new car. After winning the 2015/16 Premier League, each Leicester player was given a BMW I8 by the Thai president, but Kante was still determined to use the old car.
7. Take the motorbike to the training ground
Between 2010 and 2013, Kante’s vehicle was a scooter. But unfortunately, Boulogne’s training ground is located on a hill, while the cylinder capacity of the other car is too small to climb uphill. So, every time he went to practice, Kante would walk this bike up the hill.
8. Idol Lassana Diarra
Many people compare Kante to Makelele in the defensive midfielder position, but Kante said that his idol is Lassana Diarra – another black French midfielder who also played for Chelsea.
9. Almost joined Marseille
In the summer of 2015, Kante seemed to have moved to Marseille instead of Leicester. “At that time, two teams approached me, Marseille and Leicester. I personally like Marseille because that’s where the legends of French football are Zidane, Ribery, Nasri. However, Marseille refused to pay the extra £1.5 million as Caen asked for, so Leicester were the winners,” Kante told The Sun.
10. Set an unprecedented record in the Premier League
Kante is the second player in history to win two consecutive Premier League titles in two different colors. The first is goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, crowned with Chelsea 2013/14 and Leicester 2014/15. However, Schwarzer did not play a single time in those two campaigns, but only played a supporting role for Courtois and Schmeichel, so in fact, Kante is the record holder of the English Premier League.