N'Golo KANTE of France during the International friendly match between France and South Africa at Pierre Mauroy Stadium on March 29, 2022 in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille, France.

Watch: Chelsea’s Kante surprised with birthday cake by France squad

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante looked as awkward as we all do when he was on the receiving end of being sung ‘happy birthday’ as his France team-mates surprised him with a cake.

Kante is arguably one of the universally loved footballers currently playing – in large part thanks to his humble personality and dedicated, industrious playing style. And he’s evidently just as popular with his team-mates as he is with the fans.

On the subject of birthdays, a former team-mate of Kante’s received told a heartwarming story that cuts to the core of what a brilliant person he is.

“I called [N’Golo] Kante for my birthday, it was a small party,” Felipe Saad told Brazilian outlet Uol Sport. “Suddenly, he arrived at the restaurant with a box of chocolates, all ashamed.

“He apologised for the gift and said he didn’t know what to get because he had never been invited to a birthday party before.”

However, Kante himself has downplayed suggestions that he’s an especially great guy.

“It is true that sometimes, there is this image that is a bit too wonderful and a bit too beautiful,” he told reporters in a press conference on Sunday.

“But in the end, I am just a normal guy. A player amongst others. There is no need to say I am the kindest, or the nicest. I am just a player like the others. I think that sometimes, it is overblown. It does not need to be.”

His 31st birthday was capped off in style, having featured in midfield as France beat South Africa 5-0 in a friendly at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille.

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