Kanté, from forgotten to starter

Kanté, from forgotten to starter
Kanté, from forgotten to starter

Ngolo Kanté will be one of the main novelties of the French team in its debut in the Euro Cup, tonight at 9:00 p.m. against Austria at the Espirit Arena in Dusseldorf. The former Leicester or Chelsea player was not in the pools to be called up by Didier Deschamps, but the coach, to the surprise of many, decided to call him to travel to German lands.

Since his departure to Saudi football, in July 2023, Kanté had not worn the French national team shirt again. His signing for Al Ittihad, the same team as Karim Benzema, was understood as his international retirement. Deschamps himself, who has restored his trust, declared on repeated occasions that the rhythm of Saudi football was not similar to that of Europe and, therefore, it was difficult, a priori, for him to re-enter his squads.

A transcendental figure in the 2018 World Cup, forming a dream couple with Pogba, Kanté has not missed the last three international tournaments with the French team. In Russia, 2018, he was a fundamental pillar, but in the last Euro Cup, in 2021, he played every possible minute, including 120′ against Switzerland in those fateful round of 16 that consummated the surprising elimination of the tricolor. In this Euro Cup, in Germany, the title tournament will begin.

If we analyze Kanté’s season, by numbers and by minutes, no one can say that he has lost competitive rhythm. The 33-year-old Parisian has played 44 games in all competitions, accumulating ten goal involvements, four goals and six assists, in addition to 956 minutes.. In the two friendlies prior to the Euro Cup, against Luxembourg and Canada, he started in both and showed an extraordinary level, being a dagger in the pressure in the rival field.

Precisely that drive, that energy and that impetus to run without the ball means that Deschamps is going to start him tonight against Austria. With Tchouameni convalescing, suffering from a stress injury in his left foot, and with Camavinga not settled, the coach will place him, a priori, as a pivot, but it is not ruled out that he will exchange the position with Rabiot to exert pressure near the rival area. Kanté is back and France celebrates.

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