Chelsea FC star N’Golo Kante is world’s best midfielder, says Cesar Azpilicueta after Champions League win

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·2-min read
Chelsea FC star N’Golo Kante is world’s best midfielder, says Cesar Azpilicueta after Champions League win
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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Cesar Azpilicueta believes “humble” Chelsea team-mate N’Golo Kante is currently the best midfielder in world football after his imperious Champions League Final display against Manchester City, while he has also backed Kai Havertz to become a superstar following his match-winner in Porto.

Kante was handed man-of-the-match honours at the Estadio do Dragao on Saturday night as recognition for a masterful, trademark performance - against a City starting midfield surprisingly minus the likes of Fernandinho and Rodri - that showcased his exceptional football intelligence, anticipation and reading of the game in addition to his tireless work rate and determination.

Such a showing - which reinforced a belief among many that Kante should be competing for Ballon d’Or honours - was absolutely pivotal to Chelsea winning Europe’s elite club competition for the second time, nine years on from that famous night in Munich in 2012.

"A straightforward answer to that question - no,” Chelsea captain Azpilicueta replied when asked if there was a better midfielder in the world currently than former Leicester star Kante, who already boasted winners’ medals from the Premier League, World Cup, FA Cup and Europa League.

"He does everything, he brings so much energy. The way he drives the ball forward, he covers so much ground.

"For him as well after winning the World Cup, winning the Champions League, he's so humble as a person, and I'm just so happy for him.

"He's a massive part of this team so I'm so happy to have him next to me."

Azpilicueta also reserved special praise for Havertz, who coolly slotted the winning goal beyond Ederson shortly before the interval in Porto after being released by a defence-splitting Mason Mount pass and completely freed thanks to crucial decoy run from Timo Werner.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

It was a major high and the perfect way to end the season for Chelsea’s record signing, who - along with compatriot Werner - endured a difficult start to life in English football following a high-profile £71million switch from Bayer Leverkusen last summer.

"He deserves that, tough season, (but) his mentality is top, this guy," Azpilicueta told BT Sport.

"He's going to be a superstar, he is already, he gave us the Champions League. Not only that, he ran like crazy, that's teamwork, that's why he deserves this.”

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