Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has backed French teammate N’Golo Kante to win the Ballon d’Or.
Kante, who was named Player of the Match in Chelsea’s win over Manchester City in the Champions League final in May, has emerged as a contender for the top individual honour in 2021, after usual frontrunners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo endured underwhelming seasons by their impressive standards.
Pogba gave his verdict on Kante’s chances when asked about it on Eurosport France’s FC Stream Team podcast : “What I would like to say to the whole world is that the ‘NG’ we have seen in recent months has always been the same,” he said. “We talk a lot about his performances but he has always been as good as ever.
“There was no Cristiano and Messi in the semi-final, so it’s good to see the performances of the midfielders or even the defenders.
“I said a long time ago that it would be appropriate, if Chelsea won, for him to win the Ballon d’Or. It would be deserved too.”
Kante will rival international teammate Kylian Mbappe, as well as Bayern Munich striker, Robert Lewandowski, for the award, but if he were to help his country win another international tournament, he would be in with a great chance of further individual success.
France are favourites for Euro 2020, and now that Karim Benzema has returned to Didier Deschamps’ line-up, they arguably have an even better squad than the one they had when they won the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
In fact, their squad is so strong that Pogba described them as a ‘PlayStation team.’
He added: “We have a PlayStation team but it will remain a PlayStation team if we don’t win a trophy. We have to live up to expectations and there’ll be even more expected with Karim’s return.
“Being world champions and having a team like that, we will be expected to do even more.