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Kante, Matuidi hope Ballon d'Or winner is French

Exclusive: Kante, Matuidi hope 2018 Ballon d'Or winner is French

July 16, 2018 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The World Cup winners want one of their own to be awarded the golden ball.

They may not be noted for scoring goals or assisting but both N'Golo Kante and Blaise Matuidi were instrumental in France's run-up to the final against Croatia. Deservedly so, their hard work reaped dividends with their country winning the World Cup for the second time in its football history.

Evidently, others played a more starring role and as such could be in the running for the annual prestigious Ballon d'Or award. Raphael Varane, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe are the three names that readily come to mind as potential contenders for their superb contribution to the success in Russia which has been celebrated all over France.

In that regard, both Blaise Matuidi and N'Golo Kante were optimistic about the chances of their compatriots. Speaking in an exclusive interview with LiveSoccerTV at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow after the final, the duo stated that they will be delighted to see a colleague scoop the accolade whose acquisition has been a recurring duopoly between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the last decade.

When questioned as to whether the Ballon d'Or will lose its value should a French star be overlooked, Matuidi declared: "Well, it's the decision of the journalists [voting for the Ballon d'Or]. So do your job well!

"I think there are good cases for the Ballon d'Or [in our national team].

"In particular, Raphael Varane. As a defender, he's won the Champions League, he is now a world champion.

"It would be a beautiful reward for him. He would be deserving of it. He's had a fantastic season.

"But then again, there's Luka Modric who had a fantastic season as well and a great World Cup campaign," Matuidi added.

"And then you cannot forget Messi, Cristiano... who is now my team mate [at Juventus]."

His teammate N'Golo Kante shared a similar conviction when quizzed on the same subject.

"I hope [a French player wins it], but there are a lot of contenders and it's the voting panel [of journalists] -- the system, that will elect the Ballon d'Or winner," the Chelsea midfielder briefly declared.



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