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In further praise of humble N’Golo Kanté’s character

Great player, great man

Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

280 characters. That’s all you get on Twitter and it’s more than enough to stir-up trouble; plenty of evidence of that is given every week. But can it possibly be enough to sum-up a man’s character?

Probably not. But we shall try. And we’re going to need at least three tweets.

Our subject is N’Golo Kanté. He (They?) are taking a well-deserved break after winning the World Cup on Sunday. For the last month he had his head down and, publicly at least, thought of nothing but France.

Now that he’s resurfaced, he has some catching-up to do. One of the first things on his list was to address the departure of a coach who was instrumental in getting him to Stamford Bridge in the first place and made him a more complete player, one of the best in the world, an undisputed starter for France, sixth in the Ballon d’Or, and the best at his position.

Character Exhibit No.1: A simple, yet respectful post of appreciation. Kanté doesn’t tweet often and most of his posts are clearly managed or sponsored ones, but this one has an adorable typo and, in a way, that adds just enough personal touch to make it meaningful.

Now we turn to our character witness. Nothing better than having a third party testimonial, a semi-impartial witness, as it were. In this case, it’s France teammate Blaise Matuidi.

Exhibit #2: Humility. Of course, we already knew this — everything from his life story, the way he behaves on and off the pitch, with him (still!) driving a used Mini for example — points to this, but it’s always good to receive affirmation that our heroes are indeed heroes.

But wait: there’s more!

The only way that the world has found to stop Kanté from running all over the pitch this season was with Kryptonite by unwellness, which affected the midfielder in the World Cup final against Croatia. So, what is his secret, then? Is it having more than two lungs as a benefit of being an extra-terrestrial being?!

No, no. The answer is short and simple, obvious yet profound: détermination.

Is it possible to capture a man’s character in (three) tweets?

Not really. But it’s a good start.

He is small,
He is nice,
He managed to stop Leo Messi,
But we all know he’s a cheat (at cards),
N’Golo Kanté!

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