Chelsea Football Club midfielder, N'Golo Kanté has shed light on his journey into professional football, admitting his career almost took a very different pathway, as he studied to become an accountant alongside his sport.
Being the star footballer that he is, N’Golo Kanté would never have you doubt his ability to make it as a professional. However, it hasn’t been as straight forward as some may think. In fact, Chelsea’s Kanté had trained in a completely different career before making it as a pro footballer.
He was studying to become an accountant whilst having the opportunity to play for Boulogne’s reserve team, who were in the French sixth division at the time.
The Frenchmen said, "I was at Boulogne, in the second team - the sixth, then the fifth division. I wasn't professional, so I kept studying because I wasn't sure if I would be able to make a living as a footballer."
This really highlights to the young athletes of today, just how crucial it is to get an education to support your career path as a footballer.
Kanté went on to explain, "When I was 18, I got my baccalaureate [the French A-Level equivalent] and after that I did two more years of study in accountancy. When I went up to the first-team, I became professional, so I stopped studying. I got my qualification in accountancy, but now I prefer to concentrate on football."
Now look at where N’Golo Kanté is and how far he has progressed. He has gone from playing in France’s sixth division, on to Ligue 1, and now playing for Premier League giants Chelsea, whilst also becoming a FIFA World Cup Winner in 2018.
However, it could have been a completely different story for Kanté if he had chosen to pursue his career in accountancy and not become a professional footballer. Having the life skills that have gotten Kanté to where he is now though, might be the true reason as to why he has been astonishingly successful.
Author: Lewis Cockburn