Football is a team sport where players, coaches, support staff and fans unite for a win. There have been multiple instances when players give their penalty kicks to other players, dedicate their man of the match award to other teammates and generally be appreciative of other players’ support. In football, players play for each other more than they do for themselves and it is the only way a team can win games. The players who are selfish are often called out for their behaviour and are also the reason for the instability of their dressing room.
There are many players in modern-day football who play unselfishly and could be great ambassadors to the sport. No one however epitomises sportsman spirit more than Ngolo Kante. All his footballing career has been spent in making other players look good. He was integral in Leicester’s league win and has been similarly important to Chelsea’s League and Champions League win. He was so good that he made Drinkwater look decent! He also did all the dirty work so Febrigas and Jorginho could play with peace of mind.
Kante the ever-smiling pocket rocket has been in the form of his life this year. He was awarded the Man of the in both Semifinal legs against Real Madrid for managing the trio of Casimiro, Modric and Kroos all by himself. Winning the Champions League playing the way he has, made him a top contender for the Ballon D’or this year. Had France won the Euro, Kante would have been among the front runners for this year’s award but he was let down by his teammates!
The French National team has been in total disarray even before the EURO 2020 had taken off. First Giroud and Mbappe clashed over Mabape’s reluctance to pass the ball to Giroud. Then Pogba and Rabiot clashed over Pogba’s defensive contribution to the team, something that Kante has to cover for. Pogba’s change in the contribution from Manchester United to the French national team can only be attributed to Ngolo Kante. He is the defensive safety net behind Pogba who allows him to move forwards and play freely. In football, however, every player has to make defensive contributions, even the striker!
For whatever reason, the chaos at the French Football team just kept getting bigger and bigger. Even two soft-spoken defenders in Varane and Pavard clashed over Pavard’s defending. The team’s anger spilt over to the outside when Rabiot’s mother cum agent called out families of Pogba and Mbappe in the stands.
No apology to Kante
Kante as is the case with every football game got overshadowed by the other flashy players in Pogba and Mbappe. What could have been Kante’s year has been turned into a missed opportunity. French players have failed to be professional and in the process let their teammate down, someone who has always had their back, someone who always stays behind so others can shine. This is not just a failure of the French team but for everyone who wishes for the good, happy go lucky guy to win an individual award.
Ngolo Kante represents everyone who does not want to be in the limelight but works harder than everyone else. In this day and age of ultracompetitiveness, those guys are hardly acknowledged.
Kante winning the Ballon d’Or would have ignited hope among people who believe nice guys finish last.