With just a few days left for the commencement of Euro 2020, and while there are a number of teams who are in with a shout of winning the tournament, it is difficult to look beyond world champions France.
They possess an incredibly deep squad, topped off with a number of genuinely world class players.
N’Golo Kante is amongst that bunch.
After experiencing some mixed form during Frank Lampard’s time in charge of Chelsea, he has been revitalised under Thomas Tuchel. That was especially true in the Champions League where his performances powered the side to glory in the tournament.
While Kante has been described as a defensive midfielder in the past, that tag doesn’t do him justice. He offers far too much in so many areas of the pitch to be labelled as a defensive player.
Writing in his column for The Times, Wayne Rooney said that Kante’s presence in the France squad is one of the reasons he is backing them to Euro 2020. He believes the 30-year is the best midfielder in world football, saying he plays like two Premier League legends rolled into one.
“In the Champions League final, he gave the perfect performance. He does everything: breaks up play but then plays in tight areas and starts off the attack.
You used to see it with Yaya Touré, how he would get the ball and burst forward with it and it is so hard to defend against. Kanté does all that but also protects his defence like Claude Makélélé once did — only better.
It’s unbelievable to have a footballer who is Touré and Makélélé rolled into one — and then there’s Kanté’s energy.
At Chelsea, you see his energy bringing a lot out of the other players. Whenever Kanté bursts forward you’ll see two or three of them bursting forward too, not worried about leaving their positions because if the ball is turned over they know he’s going to get back in shape and break up the counter-attack.
For me he is the best midfielder in the world.” Rooney said.
Rooney sees France, Belgium, Portugal, and England as the main contenders at the tournament, although he believes Gareth Southgate’s side will fall short due to a lack of experience in the squad.