N’Golo Kante branded ‘horrible’ by France teammate ahead of Euro 2024 | Football

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N’Golo Kante has made a surprise return to France’s squad for Euro 2024 (Getty)

France forward Marcus Thuram claims N’Golo Kante has been ‘horrible’ to play against in training ahead of his side’s Euro 2024 opener against Austria.

Kante was a crucial part of France’s World Cup-winning side in 2018 but hadn’t played for the national team for two years before he was called up by Didier Deschamps for Les Bleus’ Euro 2024 campaign this summer.

The 33-year-old, who joined Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad on a free transfer from Chelsea last summer, started in both of France’s warm-up friendlies against Luxembourg and Canada earlier this month and now looked poised to play a key role in France’s midfield at Euro 2024.

Thuram, who is in line to start in France’s attack in their Group D opener against Austria on Monday evening, has been impressed with Kante ahead of the tournament and insists he should still be regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world.

‘I have the impression that were three of him at Clairefontaine!’ Thuram joked during his press conference on Saturday.

France's Marcus Thuram speaks during a press conference in Paderborn, Germany

Marcus Thuram is set to lead France’s attack against Austria on Monday night (AP)

‘I have never seen anything like it, it’s horrible, it’s horrible, we can’t play anymore, we can’t play in training anymore.

‘As soon as we have him on our team we know we have won.

‘But more seriously, N’Golo is incredible and I think that in one week he reminded us why he was one of the best midfielders in the world. I think we are very happy to have him with us.’

Thuram also dismissed suggestions that Kylian Mbappe overshadows the importance of a central striker in France’s system.

‘Kylian in no way prevents the development of a No.9 in the France team,’ Thuram said.

‘He helps all the players. It’s easier to complement each other with great players.

‘He asks me to be free, to combine with Kylian and Ousmane [Dembele]. From the moment I’m on the pitch, I like it. Whatever the role.’

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