N’Golo Kante responds to Ballon d’Or nomination call after Chelsea’s Champions League win

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N’Golo Kante has distanced himself from suggestions that he should be nominated for this year’s Ballon d’Or following Chelsea’s victory over Manchester City in the Champions League final.

Thomas Tuchel’s side triumphed in Porto as Kai Havertz’s first-half goal was enough to see of Pep Guardiola’s men at the Estadio do Dragao.

Kante, meanwhile, delivered another sublime display at the heart of Chelsea’s midfield and was named Man of the Match for his commanding performance.

The France international has been one of Chelsea’s key performers this season and he is now being tipped as an early contender to win the Ballon d’Or later this year.

But Kante was keen to play down the prospect of winning the highly coveted award after Chelsea’s success in the Champions League.

‘It’s amazing,’ Kante told RMC Sport.

‘It’s the result of a lot of effort, after a lot of difficulties during the season.

‘The Man of the Match award is secondary. The main thing is the work of the whole group. It is pride and joy. We fought to qualify for the final. Today, we have suffered, we have the reward.’

When asked if he could potentially be nominated for the Ballon d’Or this year, Kante replied: ‘No, for the moment we are savouring the Champions League, the Euros are soon, I will join the France team and I hope to win that as well.’

Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud was full of praise for Kante’s brilliant display in the final.

‘He’s huge,’ said Giroud.

‘He recovered fifty balls, he hurt them … I don’t know what to say, this guy is incredible, he runs everywhere, he makes the difference, he fills in gaps, he collects balls.

‘With him we have the impression of having twelve on the pitch.’

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