Despite Sadio Mane taking centre stage in the Africa Cup of Nations final, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was instrumental in Senegal’s victory. In the penalty shootout, the Chelsea goalkeeper denied Egypt’s Mohanad Lasheen, giving the Liverpool forward the chance to win Senegal’s first AFCON trophy.
After the final, Mendy wrote on Instagram: “Hard work, consistency, sacrifices, belief, support, and hope.”
“I couldn’t have done it without the love and support I received from my team, staff, players, family, and fans. We won together.” Mendy was crowned Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the AFCON after winning the Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper title in 2021, while Mane was chosen Player of the Tournament.
Mendy’s Journey in One Year
Mendy has overcome adversity on his way to where he is now, having been left without a team after leaving French fourth-tier side Cherbourg in 2014.
“I had unemployment support at that time so I could dedicate myself totally to football,” he said back in 2020.
“But it was incredibly difficult and my partner was expecting our first baby. Unemployment support wasn’t going to be enough for us. We needed something else, so I started looking for other work.
“Then I had the opportunity to go to Marseille and I was given a trial there. It was just a case of giving my all to get the opportunity to join that club. Fortunately for me, it worked and when it did it was a relief for me.”
Mendy began his career with Marseille’s B squad before joining Reims, and at the age of 26, he made his Ligue 1 debut. His achievements drew the attention of Rennes, where he stayed for one season before joining Chelsea in the summer of 2020 for 21.6 million pounds (24 million euros).
He’s Unstoppable Winnings
Mendy quickly established himself in Chelsea’s starting lineup ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga, and he has already won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and AFCON in just one calendar year.
He will now go to Abu Dhabi to join up with his Chelsea teammates, as the Blues face Al Hilal in the Club World Cup semi-finals. Mendy will also have the chance to win the Carabao Cup when he returns to England, as Chelsea will face Liverpool in the final.