N’Golo Kante, the esteemed French midfielder, has made an intriguing foray into club ownership by acquiring Royal Excelsior Virton, a Belgian third-tier team.
As of 1st July, Kante, aged 32, will take on the role of chairman for the club, which is located near the Luxembourg border. This date also marks his move from Chelsea in the Premier League to Al-Ittihad, a club in the Saudi Arabia Pro League.
Royal Excelsior Virton released a statement expressing their delight at handing over the reins of the club to Kante, highlighting his outstanding footballing abilities and, more importantly, his universally recognized personal qualities. Flavio Becca, the previous chairman, is reportedly thrilled with the transition.
Currently in the process of regaining their professional license, Royal Excelsior Virton is slated to compete in the Belgian National Division 1 during the 2023-24 season. This division stands two tiers below the top-flight Belgian Pro League. No specifics regarding the financial aspects of Kante’s purchase of Excelsior Virton have been disclosed.
The club affirms that they are free from any debt and will establish a board of directors in the coming days to oversee the operations. This acquisition by Kante follows a growing trend of professional players venturing into club ownership. Recently, Wilfried Zaha, along with rapper Stormzy, made headlines with their joint deal to acquire AFC Croydon Athletic.
Kante’s rise to prominence began in the amateur divisions in Boulogne, France, before Caen discovered his talents in 2013. He played a crucial role in Leicester City’s miraculous Premier League triumph during the 2015-16 season before moving to Chelsea. At Stamford Bridge, Kante’s contributions were instrumental in securing various titles, including the Champions League, Premier League, Europa League, and FA Cup. Furthermore, his exceptional performances were pivotal to France’s victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.