Emmanuel Macron wants N’Golo Kante to win the Ballon D’or prize as a result of his string of sterling performances of the Chelsea midfielder.
Didier Deschamp’s men are preparing for their Euro 2020 opener against Germany on Tuesday and this week they were visited by Macron, who delivered some words of wisdom to the players and coaches as they bid to win a second trophy in a row.
The French president Macron believes Kante deserves be recognised as the best of the best after a superb season with him lifting the Champions League, with Chelsea, calling him calling him “an example” for the nation.
Macron also raved about PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe, saying he and Kante represent ‘values of effort, togetherness and loyalty’.
“N’Golo Kante is a great player, like Kylian Mbappe and he is an example,’ he told RMC Sport, via ESPN. He is an example for the youth of the country.
“When we see again the season Kante has had with his club, and I hope the Ballon d’Or too and I’m sure what he will do in this Euros.
“Him and Kylian are good people too, with values of effort and togetherness. They are loyal to the clubs where they come from. And I think it is very important for the country because sport is always bigger than just sport.”
Macron, who also joked with Kante by asking him if he “still had three lungs”, was accompanied by his wife Brigitte for his visit of the squad in Clairefontaine as he urged the squad to “go to the end” and go one further than Euro 2016 – when they lost in the final to Portugal.
“You have nothing to prove, you are very great players,’ he said. ‘But do not give up… and until the last minute.”
Chelsea will need to speed up their negotiations with Achraf Hakimi, or risk losing out to PSG in the race for his services.
The Inter Milan star is one of Tuchel’s priorities this summer as he looks to build upon his Champions League winning squad.
Inter are open to selling the player, with the Italians facing financial troubles.
It was recently reported that the Blues matched PSG’s £56.1m bid for the player, although TuttoMercato report that the French side are at a more advanced stage of negotiations in regards to personal terms.
Italian journalist Enzo Bucchioni details that Hakimi has already agreed to terms on a contract that would net the Morrocan around £7m-per-year.
La Roja were vaccinated this morning at Las Rozas by the Armed Forces according to a statement from the Spanish Football Federation.
The players of the Spanish national team either received or completed their vaccination against covid-19, depending on their personal situation and whether they’ve received a dose yet or not.
A dozen health professionals, supported by a dozen uniformed officers, travelled to Las Rozas to administer the doses.
The vaccination was fast-tracked in collaboration between the Spanish Football Federation and the Ministry for Health after Sergio Busquets and Diego Llorente, two first-teamers, returned positive PCR tests this week, throwing La Roja’s preparations for Euro 2020 into chaos.
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has played down talk of a possible rift between Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe and insists there is a ‘great atmosphere’ in the French camp ahead of their Euro 2020 campaign.
The Chelsea striker was clearly frustrated after a comfortable 3-0 victory over Bulgaria on Tuesday, and complained about a lack of service from his team-mates.
Keen to avoid any unwanted pre-tournament drama, Didier Deschamps looked to diffuse the situation and insisted Giroud’s observation was not meant as a direct swipe at Mbappe during his post-match press conference.
Pogba – who got 90 minutes under his belt versus Bulgaria – joined his manager in rubbishing rumours of possible friction between the two attackers as he addressed the media on Thursday.
Asked whether there has been any tension between Giroud and Mbappe, Pogba joked: ‘No, the only tension is on the back and legs!
“There is always a great atmosphere with everyone. Between Olivier and Kylian, there is nothing. Or at least there has been nothing in front of me.
“Maybe what was said was conveyed incorrectly.
“You know Kylian, you know his qualities.
“He can score and make great passes. He does amazing things at his age.
“He is an altruistic player. But I always tell him that it would be good if he defended more to help the midfielders (laughs).
“In any case, I did not see anything and we do not feel any tensions. Nothing came out.”
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has reportedly put Harry Kane above Erling Haaland on his transfer wishlist this summer.
The Blues have made contact with both Borussia Dortmund and Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola over a move for the striker, Goal reported on Wednesday.
But according to Gianluca Di Marzio , Abramovich favours signing Kane, believing a move for Haaland would be too complicated.
The difficulty for Chelsea is that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is unlikely to sanction a sale for his club’s London rivals, while Kane himself is said to be eyeing a move to either Manchester United or Manchester City.