FRANCE ace N’Golo Kante played the World Cup final while suffering from a stomach bug.
The Chelsea man, usually so reliable in midfield, was subbed in the 55th minute following a distinctively average performance for the 4-2 winners.
Kante picked up an early booking and left question marks whether he could have closed down Ivan Perisic to stop Croatia’s equaliser.
But the 27-year-old had his own personal battle to contend with after enduring a bout of gastroenteritis, according to L’Equipe.
Kante had played in every minute of every game before taking on finalists Croatia in Moscow.
But boss Didier Deschamps decided he had seen enough when he replaced him with Steven N’Zonzi just 10 minutes into the second half.
He came back onto the field for the jubilant celebrations at the end before showing his humble side.
Kante was “too shy” to ask his team-mates if he could hold the World Cup trophy – so N’Zonzi had to step in to help him.
His midfield partner asked the squad to let the midfielder have a go as the French team celebrated in the Moscow rain.
The trophy capped a remarkable rise to fame for Kante.
Just four years ago he was gearing up for a debut season in Ligue 1 with Caen.
Then later won back-to-back Premier League titles with Leicester and Chelsea before winning the FA Cup in May.