French midfielder N’Golo Kante purchases Belgian third-tier side Royal Excelsior Virton

N’Golo Kante has purchased Belgian third-tier club Royal Excelsior Virton.

The France midfielder, 32, will take over from Flavio Becca as chairman of the club based near the Luxembourg border on 1 July.

It is the same date he will join Saudi Arabia Pro League side Al-Ittihad from Premier League Chelsea.

“Flavio is obviously extremely happy to be able to hand over the keys of the club to N’Golo Kante,” said the club in a statement.

“[He is] a player of great class, not only for his footballing qualities but also and above all for his unanimously recognised human qualities.”

The Belgian side are in the process of regaining their professional licence, and will play in the Belgian National Division 1 in the 2023-24 season.

This division is two steps below the country’s top tier, the Belgian Pro League. No details have been released on whether Kante has paid a fee to purchase Excelsior Virton.

The club say they are debt free, and a board of directors will be set up in the coming days.

Kante began his career in France’s amateur divisions in Boulogne, before being spotted by Caen in 2013.

He helped Leicester City win the Premier League in the 2015-16 season before moving to Chelsea. At Stamford Bridge, Kante won the Champions League, Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup.

He also played a key role in France’s World Cup success in 2018.

His purchase of Excelsior Virton is the latest by a professional player, after the announcement of Wilfried Zaha’s deal to buy AFC Croydon Athletic with rapper Stormzy earlier this week.

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