Chelsea midfielder, N’Golo Kante, has said he’s excited growing up admiring former Blues Claude Makelele and Lassana Diarra.
Kante looked up to both France internationals, even if he has always just tried to play his own game rather than copy others.
“Growing up, coaches or team-mates might tell me that I resemble such-and-such a player. I was just someone who watched football. I would watch the games which interested me, without necessarily focusing on players in a similar position to me,” he told the club’s website.
“Whenever the international break came around, I would obviously watch France play, and getting to watch the likes of Claude Makelele or Lassana Diarra, I obviously drew inspiration from them.”
However, he learned from both those players later on, as an international team-mate of Diarra’s and through speaking to Makelele, who now works with Chelsea’s young players, at Cobham.
“I met Lassana Diarra the first time I got called up to the French national team. I was lucky enough to play with him and see what a great player he was.
“And also Claude, who is with us at Chelsea. I mainly get the instructions from my manager, to organise the team, to give our very best for the team, but it’s true that I have had some chats with Claude since I came to Chelsea.
“He was here to give me advice on my play, and the impact I can have on the game and also on my career, on what I can work on, what I can improve, and what I can be. Being able to talk with him about that is beneficial for me because he knows the position, he knows the club, so his advice was always useful to me.”