Claude Makelele has told double Player of the Year N’Golo Kante: “You’re still not at my level.”
The former Chelsea midfielder, who clinched two titles at Stamford Bridge, was previously part of the Real Madrid team that lifted the 2002 Champions League.
Makelele, also a two-time La Liga winner, was regarded as one of the greatest players ever in his defensive midfield position. As well as his domestic and European success, he helped France to the World Cup Final in 2006.
Kante has earned the respect of his fellow professionals, pundits and neutrals after becoming one of a handful of players to win the Premier League in successive years with different teams – Leicester and Chelsea.
Makelele said: “At the moment Kante is special and one of the best midfielders.
“The problem is, I played 25 years in football at this level and comparisons are being made in a bad way.
“This season he did not play in the Champions League. Every four days there will be games.
“With the national team there will be games. There will be a lot of games. He needs to get that experience.
“When he is at that level, he will not run 90 minutes all the time. He will need to listen to the rhythm, the way he plays. This will be key for him. I hope this will be the situation. I hope he does better than I did in my career.”