World Cup: French Midfielder N’Golo Kante Played in Final With Stomach Bug
France won their second World Cup.
France captured its second-ever World Cup with a victory over Croatia despite one of its star players leaving the game due to a reported stomach bug.
Midfielder N’Golo Kante was subbed off in the 55th minute, a move that left many scratching their heads.
The 27-year-old, who plays for Chelsea in the English Premier League, did pick up a yellow card earlier in the final, which had many believing that was the cause for the switch. However, that was not the case, as Kante was battling gastroenteritis, according to French newspaper L’Equipe.
Kante played every minute for France during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, except for the final.
The player watched as his Les Bleus finished the game in spectacular fashion and later linked up with his teammates on the field to lift the prestigious World Cup trophy.
Kante was even “too shy” to ask his teammates to hold the trophy, according to reports. Seven N’Zonzi, who replaced Kante, reportedly found out about his teammate's bashfulness and made sure he got his hands on it.
Nineteen-year-old French star Kylian Mbappe took home the “Best Young Player” award at the World Cup and became the youngest person to score in a World Cup final since Pele did it in 1958.
Mbappe is also making headlines for donating his earnings from the tournament to Premiers de Cordee, a charity that gives free sports instruction to hospitalized and disabled children, according to reports.
"Kylian, he's a great person," Sebastien Ruffin, general manager of Premiers de Cordee, told Le Parisien. "When his schedule allows it, he intervenes for us with pleasure. He has a very good [relationship] with children. He always finds the right [words] to encourage them. I sometimes even feel that [he] takes more pleasure to play with the kids than the kids themselves."
The company also tweeted their admiration for the young hero, calling him "Our Love" on Twitter.
Mbappe, who plays for PSG in France’s Ligue 1, reportedly made around $350,000 plus a bonus from the tournament.
Following France’s victory, many took to social media to congratulate the team.
Shakira called the Cup an “amazing tournament” and also took a moment to applaud both France and Croatia.
NBA star Joel Embiid took to Twitter to congratulate France.
Chelsea, which France’s Kante and Olivier Giroud play for during club season, had celebratory tweets for the members of its squad.
"Big Little Lies" star Reese Witherspoon watched the game and was excited for France.
2006 World Cup winner and former Italian national team captain, Gianluigi Buffon, applauded France by posting an image of the Eiffel Tower in the country’s colors. Buffon is currently living and playing club soccer in France with Paris Saint-Germain.
Director Spike Lee showed his support of Les Bleus by posting an image of himself wearing the French team's jersey.
France first won the World Cup in 1998, months before star Mbappe was born. Current French manager Didier Deschamps became the third man in World Cup history to win the trophy as both a player and boss, behind Brazil's Mario Zagallo and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer.
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