N’GOLO
KANTÉ: The Untold Story
Who wouldn’t know
the popular Minister of the Midfield and defence in England for a while now.
Everyone knows of his tactical defensive skills but only a few consider N’Golo
Kante’s interesting biography.
I know many of you
will be wondering why I am sharing his biography on my blog today. There are
two basic reasons for this; firstly, because of his High-I-Eye spirit and
perpetual driving force towards his dreams. And secondly, because of his
EXTREME humility! Believe you me, in sports, this guy is my best definition of
humility!
N’Golo Kante
popularly called “agolo” or Mallam Kante in Nigeria was born on the
29th of March 1991 in Paris, France. He was born to a migrant family to France
from Mali in 1980 to seek greener pastures in Europe, as we all know that
majority of the French players who won the last Worldcup could be traced down
to the African root, just like Mbappe. Many years after their migration,
Kante’s father died when he (Kante) was just 11 years old.
Growing up in Rueil
Malmaison, a small and densely populated sub-urban area close to Paris, Kante
worked as a trash picker & grabber while his mother worked as a cleaner in
order to help sustain the family.
As a refuse
collector, Kante would walk for kilometres around the Suburbs of eastern Paris
looking for all sort of valuable waste to collect and deliver to small
recycling firms for quick cash.

Knowing fully well
that the menial job would continually make his family circle in poverty, Kante sought
alternatives that would pave way for financial freedom and assured future for
himself and his family.
After the France
’98 world cup, Kante saw a different France. An opportunity filled country
whose football glory and future rest on the shoulders of migrants. Moreso, he
got familiarized with the names and personality of great football stars who
helped France clinch the 1998 FIFA world cup. Some of the featured star players
then were the likes of Thierry Henry, Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Viera, Thuram,
Nicolas Anelka amongst others. Do you know what that victory meant to then
French? The victory saw the codified right of migrants to participate in French
football.
While the 1998
world cup was going on, Kante became financially stable by making more money
from collecting trash dropped by football tourists. He covered every ground
used for the tournament including squares of hotels that served as viewing
centres to realize enough funds to help his career and assist his family.
After the World
Cup, Kante who was then aged 8, aspired to take football as a career having
noticed lots of youth clubs emancipating around his locality. It wasn’t long
before his aspirations became a reality as he began his career at JS Suresnes
in the western suburbs of Paris. Upon registration, Kante was immediately
tagged by teammates as the smallest and most focused young star in the club.
His shankolo body (small stature) kept many of his teammates wondering if he
could last even for up to 45mins on field of play.
Ideally, it was
Kante’s humility and hard work learned in his troubled youth that helped the
miniature midfielder achieve greatness. His team started winning trophies as
soon as he entered the club. Although Kante did much to help his team win
trophies, he was known to shy away from celebration and wouldn’t let it get to
his head. At least I saw that myself during the last Worldcup they won, he did
not plan to carry the cup to strike a pose for a picture, it was Pogba who
collected the trophy and handed it over to him, knowing his (Kante) low-key
lifestyle.
More so, while his
teammates grew in height, Kante didn’t show much progress in that regard but
remained the most powerful (small but mighty) midfield force who would cover
every blade of grass on the pitch.
Kante began growing
after a spell of about 4 years at the club. His personality and career path
became obvious after spending such years. At some point in time, Kante’s
popularity saw him become the club’s favourite and most faithful player. He
earned more money by joining a team of selected youth stars who took extra
hours to train young kids. All thanks to his then assistant manager, Pierre
Ville who helped him to earn more after the death of his father.

Kante’s hard work
coupled with his endearing qualities earned him a move to Boulogne where he
played between 2010–2012. His impressive performances were acknowledged by all
including his Boulogne coach Durand.
Kante’s dream to
play for an English Club was later realized as he was scouted for Premier
League club Leicester City by Steve Walsh, who had previously facilitated the
transfers of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to the team. On the 3rd of August
2015, he joined Leicester on a four-year contract, for an undisclosed fee
reported to be €8 million (£5.6 million).
One interesting
fact about this guy, N’Golo Kante, he has never had a flashy car nor wore any
expensive wares, a great life of modesty! At the start of his professional
career at Chelsea, he commuted to training by kick scooter. As of 2017/2018
season, he drove a Mini Cooper.
On 17 March 2016,
Kanté was selected for the France senior squad for the first time to face the Netherlands
and Russia in friendies.  He made his
debut against the former eight days later, replacing Lassana Diarra at halftime
in a 3–2 win at the Amsterdam Arena.
N’Golo Kante was in
2016 nicknamed “The Rat” by his Chelsea Teammate Eden Hazard. The Belgian
(Hazard) believes that Kante show of prowess on the field of play is with
amazing speed to recover the ball from opponents.
One of his old pals
Francois Lemoine added that;
“WE
WERE UNDER-18S AND HE WAS UNDER-15S AND HE WAS ALREADY PLAYING WITH US. WE WERE
PLAYING AGAINST A LOCAL TEAM AND HE CAME ON TEN MINUTES FROM THE END. HE WAS
SMALLER THAN EVERYONE YET NO ONE COULD GET PAST HIM. AT THE END OF THE MATCH WE
WENT INTO THE CHANGING ROOM, I LOOKED AT ONE OF MY TEAM-MATES AND I SAID TO
HIM, ‘LOOK, HE’S SMALLER THAN US AND IN TEN MINUTES HE HAS SHOWN US HOW TO DO
IT’. IT WAS A REAL LESSON IN HUMILITY.”
His youth coach,
Vojtyna, was not left out as he recalled that;
“BACK
THEN, KANTE WAS THE ONE PLAYER WHO WOULD LISTEN AND DO ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING
ASKED OF HIM. LITERALLY EVERYTHING. I ONCE JOKED WITH KANTE BEFORE A HOLIDAY. I
TOLD N’GOLO, I’M GIVING YOU TWO MONTHS TO JUGGLE THE BALL 50 TIMES WITH YOUR
LEFT FOOT, 50 WITH YOUR RIGHT FOOT AND 50 WITH YOUR HEAD’. TWO MONTHS LATER, HE
DID IT! I WAS SHOCKED. FROM THIS MOMENT, I NEVER TOLD HIM WHAT TO DO. I LEFT
HIM FOR NATURE TO DECIDE HIS CASE”
To show his low-key
lifestyle, his hairdresser (popularly called barber in Nigeria, lol) from
onset, Naji Nagy, is still the one cutting his hair, as he travels down London
to cut Kante’s hair, reason being is that, he still want to keep his
relationship with his hairdresser who they both had their humble beginning.
To this end, I’ll
say humility is key in life. He (Kante) earns about £120,00 weekly!.. Kindly
convert that to your local currency… I’m sure you know that he can buy the latest
car with just 2 months salary! And of course, keep your dreams alive! Never
give up on your DREAMS!

Source: Mccollybright.blogspot.com.ng

About The Author: Adeshile Adekolajo

Adeshile
Adekolajo is a graduate from the University of Abuja, He works for Ntel
Nigeria and we owns – Mccollybright.blogspot.com

He
is a writer, blogger and poet, to read more of his interesting and
educative articles, please log on to – mccollybright.blogspot.com.ng

 

Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.