‘He deserves it’ – Ruud Gullit advises Chelsea star for Ballon d’Or glory
Former AC Milan and Chelsea star Ruud Gullit believes Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante deserves to win the Ballon d’Or ahead of Italian midfielder Jorginho.
Speaking to the media at the Giacinto Facchetti Awards, Ruud Gullit was inevitably asked about the possibility of Jorginho winning the Ballon d’Or. However, the former Chelsea player believes the annual award should go to someone like N’Golo Kante who doesn’t contribute goals but still plays a vital role in the squad.
The 59-year-old Dutchman compared Kante’s situation to that of great Italian defender Franco Baresi. Ruud Gullit said:
“It’s a bit like Baresi, who didn’t win despite his level. Those who score attract more and more attention. It would be nice to see someone who draws less attention on goals, like Kanté, who deserves to win.
Jorginho and N’Golo Kante both played a vital role in Chelsea’s recent Champions League success under Thomas Tuchel. However, Jorginho could have a clear advantage in the Ballon d’Or race over his Chelsea teammate, as he also won Euro 2020 with Italy.
Despite Chelsea’s recent Champions League success, Kante and Jorginho will need to be wary of Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi, who have also been tipped to win the Ballon d’Or this season.
Ruud Gullit himself won the Ballon d’Or in 1987 while playing for Serie A giant AC Milan. The Dutchman, along with his compatriots Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten, were instrumental in the success of AC Milan in the late 80s and early 90s.
Chelsea were Ruud Gullit’s last club. The Dutchman played for the Blues from 1995 to 1998. Gullit guided Chelsea to the 1997 FA Cup triumph over Middlesbrough as a player-coach.
Chelsea are still waiting for their first Ballon d’Or
Despite their illustrious recent history since the arrival of Roman Abramovich, no Chelsea player has won the Ballon d’Or. The closest a Chelsea player has come to lifting the ‘golden ball’ was when midfielder Frank Lampard finished second to Ronaldinho in 2005.
At present, only three English clubs have seen their players win the Ballon d’Or. These include Blackpool, Manchester United and Liverpool.
Blackpool saw his legend Stanley Matthews win the very first Ballon d’Or in 1956 while Liverpool had a winner in 2001 against Michael Owen.
Manchester United have seen four of their players lift the Ballon d’Or. These include Dennis Law, Bobby Charlton, George Best and Cristiano Ronaldo.