Olivier Giroud has revealed that former Chelsea teammate N’Golo Kante hates losing so much that he even gets “upset and angry” if he suffers defeat in a game of Scrabble.
The two France internationals shared a dressing room at club level for three years at Stamford Bridge, during which time the Blues won the 2018 FA Cup, the 2019 Europa League and last season’s Champions League, with Giroud top-scoring (11 goals) in that Europa League triumph.
Giroud ultimately left west London in the summer just a month after triggering a one-year extension to his contract, linking up with Serie A runners-up AC Milan. The 35-year-old marksman has so far netted two goals across five games in all competitions since trading blue for red.
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Kante meanwhile continues to enhance his reputation in the Premier League both on and off the pitch. The benevolent Frenchman is often considered one of the nicest men in football, but Giroud has since revealed there is a ruthless side to his personality behind the scenes.
Such is Kante’s appetite for winning, that he even grows frustrated when coming up short in strategic board games such as chess and Scrabble, an anecdote put forward by Giroud.
“We’ve been playing chess – I have to say he’s better than me,” Giroud told talkSPORT.
“I’ve been winning some with him. I asked him to play Scrabble and I’m definitely better than him, so much better.
“He’s a funny person, top man and he hates losing. Sometimes he tries everything to win and that’s funny with him.
“He never gives up. On the pitch he tries to step up and is massively important for Chelsea and the national team.
“Off the pitch, he hates losing and sometimes it makes him a bit upset and angry. I always try to joke with him, he’s a top man.”
The 30-year-old has enjoyed a stratospheric rise to prominence in the Premier League since trading Caen for Leicester six years ago, famously helping the Foxes to unprecedented title glory, winning the World Cup with France and most recently lifting the Champions League with Chelsea.
His European exploits last season have seen him put forward, alongside four other Chelsea players including Cesar Azpilicueta, Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku and Jorginho, for the 2021 Ballon d’Or, his third such nomination after 2017 (8th place) and 2018 (11th place).