Despite the Ballon d’Or being largely dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the past decade, Paul Pogba says that Chelsea star N’Golo Kante should be confirmed as the world’s best player in this year’s honors list.
Pogba, who is likely to comprise the center of France’s midfield alongside Kante at this summer’s European Championships as they look to add further silverware to the World Cup they won together three years ago in Russia, says that there is currently no better player in world football than the diminutive Chelsea man.
Kante, 30, was selected as the man of the match after he helped the Blues to their second-ever Champions League trophy a week ago with a 1-0 win against Manchester City in Porto.
In doing so, Kante added to his lengthy list of trophies including two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, a Europa League and a former Premier League Player of the Season award, and was named by some as the man who could break Messi and Ronaldo’s stranglehold on the Ballon d’Or.
Kante’s influence on the pitch is such that Pogba agrees he should be officially heralded as the world’s best footballer.
“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,” said Pogba of his French international teammate to Eurosport.
“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.
“When you see [Kante], you have to smile. He is a great personality and a great person. And a great football player. As an attacking player, I’m always happy when he is on the pitch.
“You can make a lot of mistakes because he always wins the ball back. He’s fast, agile and always gets his leg in.
“That’s why it’s not so nice to have to play against him in the first match of the European Championship, of course.”
Kante is currently listed by one prominent bookmaker as being the odds-on choice to win this year’s Ballon d’Or ahead of the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Messi and Robert Lewandowski.
The 30-year-old will have an opportunity to add further weight to his case if he can help France to the Euro 2020 crown – which would mean that he had won practically every available piece of silverware since he first moved to English football in 2015.