Chelsea’s Kai Havertz hails N’Golo Kante and ‘warrior’ Antonio Rudiger

The pair were vital in Chelsea winning the Champions League (Picture: Getty Images)

Kai Havertz has talked up the vital importance of N’Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger to Thomas Tuchel’s Champions League winners Chelsea.

Havertz scored the only goal in May’s showpiece as the Blues beat Premier League champions Manchester City 1-0 in Porto.

Kante, meanwhile, picked up the Man of the Match award for yet another masterful display in the middle of the park, prompting calls for the enigmatic France international be on the shortlist for this year’s Ballon d’Or.

Havertz bagged the winner in the Champions League final (Picture: Getty Images)

The 30-year-old has now added the Champions League to his glittering list of honours which include the World Cup, two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and Europa League.

Kante will be looking to add a European Championship to that catalogue of trophies at this summer’s rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament with France.

Didier Deschamps’ side have been drawn into what promises to be a fiercely competitive group which includes Germany, Portugal and Hungary.

And Germany international Havertz isn’t best pleased about the tough prospect of facing his ‘great’ club teammate Kante in their first group game against Les Bleus on June 15.

‘When you see [Kante], you have to smile,’ Havertz told reporters.

‘He is a great personality and a great person.

‘And a great football player. As an attacking player, I’m always happy when he is on the pitch. You can make a lot of mistakes because he always wins the ball back. He’s fast, agile and always gets his leg in.

‘That’s why it’s not so nice to have to play against him in the first match of the European Championship, of course.’

Havertz was also full of praise for his fellow Germany international colleague Rudiger, who had dropped down the pecking order at the club under Frank Lampard, but is thriving under Tuchel.

‘[Rudiger] has given us so much stability over the last few months,’ he added.

‘After Tuchel’s arrival, he played outstandingly.

‘As a mentality player, he’s also important. On the pitch, he’s a warrior. A bit like Kante – you want him in your team.

‘Playing against him in training isn’t as much fun either. The last few months have been top. It was very hard for him at first and now he’s fought his way out of it.’

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