Joe Cole hailed the “staggering” performance of N’Golo Kante following Chelsea’s Champions League final victory over Manchester City.
The Blues lifted Europe’s premier trophy for the second time in their history on Saturday with a 1-0 win in Porto. Kai Havertz got the winning goal shortly before half time after rounding Ederson. In the second half, meanwhile, City pushed back but the loss of Kevin de Bruyne to injury hurt them.
The winning goal was a prized moment for Havertz, who arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer as the most expensive of Chelsea’s signings.
However, Kante again caught the eye for his midfield performance, helping steady Thomas Tuchel’s ship throughout.
Indeed, ex-Chelsea midfielder Cole could not believe what he was watching from the France international.
Cole in fact hailed Kante as a better player than club icon Claude Makelele and revealed a time when he played against the 30-year-old.
“He’s staggering. I’m shattered just watching him,” Cole told BT Sport.
“One of my last games, my legs were gone and this lad came on, I looked at him, he’s about four foot tall, and thought to myself: ‘What does this lad do?’ – he changed the game.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel lauds N'Golo Kante
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel lauds N'Golo Kante and explains why he rates the French midfielder so highly.
“I played with Make [Makelele] who I thought was the best in that position until I saw this kid. He’s got Makelele plus extras.”
Meanwhile, Joleon Lescott also hailed the midfielder’s talents.
“I was at Villa, he came on and changed the game,” he said. They won 3-2 and that was the year they went onto win the league.
“They’ve had Makelele, Ramires – who was exceptional, but this player. Arguably the best in that position ever to play the game.”
Tuchel hails fantastic Chelsea achievement
Chelsea boss Tuchel hailed his side’s efforts after the game.
The German, who is approaching only his sixth month in charge of the Blues, said: “It is a fantastic achievement, congratulations to everybody.
“We knew that we needed a strong, top level performance and strong bond today to overcome this emotion, to have a chance to win this match. This is what we did. I am almost speechless.”