Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz says that he is not looking forward to lining up against team-mate N’Golo Kante for Germany next week.
The 2014 World Cup winners face the 2018 victors France in their Euro 2020 Group F opener next Tuesday. The group is arguably the toughest to call, with Euro 2016 champions Portugal also taking part. As such, one of the three sides could look to make the knockout stages as one of the four best third-placed teams.
In any case, Germany’s clash with France will set the tone for how the group will play out. Indeed, both countries have some of the best talent from across Europe.
Kante, meanwhile, has been put forward for the Ballon d’Or after winning Man of the Match awards in both semi-finals and the final.
While Havertz enjoys playing alongside the 30-year-old for his club, he admits that lining up against him on the international stage will be difficult.
“He is a great personality and a great footballer,” Havertz told The Sun.
“As an attacking player, I’m always happy when he is on the pitch. You can make a lot of mistakes because he always wins the ball back.
“He’s fast, agile and always gets his leg in. That’s why it’s not so nice to have to play against him in the first match of the European Championship, of course.”
However, should Kante have a telling hand in getting France on the attack next Tuesday, Havertz will have Antonio Rudiger – another Chelsea colleague – to help Germany defend.
The 28-year-old has become a star of Chelsea’s solid defence under Thomas Tuchel, enjoying a transformation after struggling to fit in under Frank Lampard.
As such, Havertz feels happy to have the centre-back in his country’s ranks.
Havertz happy to have Rudiger
“After Thomas Tuchel’s arrival, he played outstandingly,” the midfielder said.
“He’s a warrior. A bit like Kante — you want him in your team.”
France are one of the favourites to win Euro 2020, which will be played across the continent with 12 host cities for the first time.