The man can do no wrong
A series of reports from German paper Der Spiegel have served as a stark reminder that while we love football as a sport, it is tainted by corruption and used as a tool by oppressive regimes to give their global public image a makeover.
However, amid the dark truths that pervade our beloved game, there will always be a few exceptions to the rule. Only the corruptible can be corrupted, and a recent report would suggest that N’Golo Kanté is not one of them.
While his France teammate Kylian Mbappé is alleged to have asked for a private jet as part of his contract negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain, everyone’s favourite defensive midfielder Kanté seems to be the only person to emerge from the Football Leaks scandal looking good, let alone with his reputation enhanced by the revelations.
According to Der Speigel’s most recent report, the Chelsea midfielder was offered the chance to be paid through an offshore account in order to pay less money in tax.
This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who has the faintest idea of how football’s elite clubs operate, but the fact that he refused to be paid through it might.
It's not all bad what we find in #FootballLeaks. Here we have N'Golo #Kanté refusing a tax evasion scheme and asking @ChelseaFC for just a normal salary. It's kind of sad that we have to celebrate that. But still: kudos to @nglkante. https://t.co/JlALcMKtP4
— Christoph Winterbach (@derWinterbach) November 14, 2018
Breaking | Football Leaks Headline: N'Golo Kanté created an offshore company, but then refused to be paid through it, despite Chelsea's insistence, with a source saying: "N'Golo is unflinching. He just wants a normal salary." (Mediapart)
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) November 14, 2018
Of course, turning down the opportunity to avoid tax shouldn’t warrant huge plaudits – it’s just what everyone else does – but amid the numerous allegations that paint the rest of the footballing world as irredeemably corrupted by greed, it is a pleasant change to learn of a footballer being this selfless.
Kanté won over the footballing world’s hearts over the past three years, first helping Leicester win a title, then Chelsea, before winning a World Cup with France and doing it all without seeking any sort of individual praise. This will only warm him more to football fans all over, who are growing increasingly tired of the horrifying allegations that have emerged in recent weeks.