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Written by Jack Kenmare
It was a stroke of genius from manager Patrice Garande to bring Kante to Caen following his breakthrough 2012/13 season at Boulogne.
After the Ligue 2 side decided to bring the midfielder to the Stade Michel d'Ornano on a free, the hardworking midfielder contributed heavily to Caen's promotion to Ligue 1 before helping the club maintain a place in France's top league the following year.
In the space of three years, Kante went from playing in France's sixth division to Ligue 1. And during this time, the Frenchman made some great friends, including former Caen teammate Felipe Saad.
“I called [N’Golo] Kanté for my birthday, it was a small party. Suddenly, he arrived at the restaurant with a box of chocolates, all ashamed. He apologized for the gift and said he didn’t know what to get because he had never been invited to a birthday party before,”-Felipe Saad. pic.twitter.com/C1DFaOcz3V— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) May 31, 2021
To celebrate his birthday, Saad decided to invite Kante to his birthday party at a local restaurant.
The Brazilian defender remembers Kante's reaction when he joined up with his teammate that day.
"I called [N'Golo] Kanté for my birthday, it was a small party," Felipe Saad told Brazilian outlet Uol Sport. "Suddenly, he arrived at the restaurant with a box of chocolates, all ashamed.
"He apologised for the gift and said he didn't know what to get because he had never been invited to a birthday party before."
Last year, Chelsea midfielder Kante managed to be humble about being humble after claiming he is a "normal guy" and "just a player like the others".
"It is true that sometimes, there is this image that is a bit too wonderful and a bit too beautiful," he said in a press conference on Sunday at Clairefontaine.
Happy Birthday to the most humble, pure and genuine person the world has seen.— TLV (@TheIampardView) March 29, 2022
From a garbage collector, to winning almost every trophy as one of the greatest midfielders of all time, @nglkante 💙 pic.twitter.com/6cb1PvxJaS
"But in the end, I am just a normal guy. A player amongst others. There is no need to say I am the kindest, or the nicest. I am just a player like the others. I think that sometimes, it is overblown. It does not need to be.
"It is true that I like to get on well with my team-mates, to have good relationships with people that I come across in the streets and in football. But aside from that, there are other people like that in football.
"We don't need to make a whole story or sometimes exaggerate."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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