N'Golo Kanté Wins French Football Award
France Football magazine has capped off N'Golo Kanté's year by naming him the French Player of the Year in their end-of-year issue. A native of Paris, Kanté has already been awarded several accolades, including the Premier League Player of the Season, the Player of the Year award from the Professional Footballers' Association and the FWA Footballer of the Year.
Kanté first entered the Premier League in 2015 when he was signed by Leicester City for a reported $9.4 million. Previously, he had played for US Boulogne in Championnat National and SM Caen in Ligue 1. In 2015, he had the most tackles and interceptions in the Premier League. His performance on the field helped propel Leicester to a surprise Premier League victory in 2016. Kanté shocked Leicester fans when he signed a $42 million contract with rival club Chelsea for the 2016-2017 season, but he proved to be a good luck charm for the team when they snagged the Premier League title in May 2017.
Kanté has become a fan favorite at Chelsea for his wide-ranging midfield action, leading to jokes that he is everywhere at once. Off the field, he has gained praise for his low-key lifestyle. In contrast with his flashier teammates, Kanté drives a second-hand Mini Cooper and keeps a low profile. Known for his aggression on the pitch, Kanté is purportedly bashful in his everyday life. He famously told reporters in March that several of his teammates were more deserving of the Player of the Year award than him.
Each year, the winner of France Football's French Player of the Year is selected with a vote from previous winners. Recent title-holders include Antoine Griezmann of Atlético Madrid and Blaise Matuidi of Juventus. During his career, Thierry Henry won the award a record five times. Kanté reportedly won French Player of the Year by five votes, edging out Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain and Paul Pogba of Manchester United.
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