Frank Leboeuf has branded N’Golo Kante the ‘king of the midfield’ for his man of the match display against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night to help Chelsea reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
The French World Cup winner has suffered multiple injuries over the last 18 months but looked back to his best as the Blues beat Atletico 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to go through with a 3-0 victory on aggregate against their Spanish opposition.
Kante ran the show from midfield with a dynamic display in a box-to-box role which saw him thrive in both defence and attack.
The 29-year-old’s tireless performance was encapsulated by his 94th-minute sprint from one end of the pitch to the other to create space for Emerson Palmieri’ to score the goal to wrap up the tie.
And former Blues defender feels Kante was ‘magical’ on the night for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
‘That guy [Kante] was absolutely magical today,’ Leboeuf told ESPN FC.
‘You have to add [Mateo] Kovacic, because they worked very well together, they changed the game and won the battle in the middle of the park. You know with players like Koke, it’s never easy because it’s a real fight.
‘But today from the first minute to the last, Kante was the king of the midfield.
‘He was physically at the top.
‘And if Kante is at the top physically, it changes the game.’