Kante spends evening with Arsenal fan he met at mosque

Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante celebrated Saturday’s victory over Cardiff by accepting an invitation to play Fifa and watch Match of the Day over a curry at the house of an Arsenal fan he had just met.

Kante, a regular for France throughout the summer as they won the World Cup, missed his Eurostar train out of St Pancras in the hours after Chelsea’s 4-1 Premier League defeat of Cardiff and instead visited a mosque in Kings Cross.

It was there that Arsenal supporter Badlur Rahman Jalil recognised Kante and invited him to join the group of friends visiting Jalil for the evening – and remarkably he accepted.

The image of modern-day Premier League footballers has long been of unapproachable individuals who have little in common with those who support them, but the reality of the 2017 PFA Player of the Year proved the opposite.

“I went to the mosque on Saturday evening to pray and we just prayed together,” the 31-year-old Jalil told BBC Sport. “It’s Islamic teaching to invite guests to your house for dinner, so I asked him.

“He came with me and my brother because he was on his own and said he was only going to go home anyway.

“He was on a protein diet so we had a chicken curry. He even had a cup of tea.

“He beat us all at Fifa and then we watched Match of the Day. It was a really nice evening.”

A Chelsea spokesman confirmed that Kante was with the group of eight to 10 friends for two hours, and said of the midfielder: “That’s typical N’Golo”.