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Chelsea duo N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud have received a special recognition award in their homeland France. The pair were among the members of the France national team who received their nation’s highest civilian honour in Paris.
The France national team won the World Cup last year and have now been awarded the Legion of Honour by France’s president Emmanuel Macron in a ceremony at the Elysee Palace, in recognition of their exploits at the World Cup in Russia last summer.
France won the World Cup for the first time in 1998 when they hosted the tournament, and it took them another 20 years to win the competition. Kante and Giroud join the Chelsea players from France’s 1998 World Cup-winning squad who were also awarded the Legion of Honour – Marcel Desailly and Frank Leboeuf, as well as Didier Deschamps and Emmanuel Petit who later joined the Blues.
After winning the World Cup last year, France president Emmanuel Macron stated the honour would be bestowed upon the players and at the ceremony this week he said: “I’m very happy. Not only to keep the promise made last summer but most of all, the players have allowed me to keep it.
“The French team reminded us last summer how great stories and popular anecdotes are created.”
Kante and Giroud were major players for France in the World Cup last year, and are currently in Paris ahead of travelling to Turkey for a European Championship qualifier on Saturday. They then play Andorra on Tuesday.
Kante and Giroud also played a key role to help Chelsea win the Europa League last week, with Giroud ending up as the tournament’s top scorer.
Former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has now revealed that Kante is the best player he managed at Chelsea.
When asked to name his best player during his time Chelsea, Conte told the BBC World Service: “There are many good players, for sure, but if I have to mention one player I would like to mention Kante.
Asked why he felt Kante was so special for him, Conte replied: “We are talking about a special player.
“Because he always has a smile on his face. He’s a reliable player, a fantastic player.
“I wish the best for him, always.”