While present with Senegal in the ongoing TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was elected this Tuesday (17 January 2022) as best goalkeeper in the world during FIFA “The Best” Awards.
At 29, this marks a great feat for the Senegalese goalkeeper, who guided Chelsea FC of England to win the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup titles in 2021.
Mendy, born in France for Senegalese parents, crossed a lot of obstacles to reach this level. He waited till the age of 24 to sign his first professional contract for Reims in French Ligue 2.
Before that, he spent his career in amateur clubs without succeeding in convincing elite clubs, to the level that he wanted to give up football.
Finally, he stayed in this game he loves and where he rose through the ranks from Reims, a club no longer playing the leading roles in France, to Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in England and the world via Rennes, the French club that introduced him to European competitions.
Accustomed to difficulties, his first experience in the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt 2019 was stopped by a finger injury during the warm-up for the group stage match against Kenya.
But Edouard Mendy came back stronger, regaining his place as Teranga Lions first choice goalkeeper.
His current AFCON appearance was delayed after contracting COVID-19, before being cleared medically and might start this Tuesday against Malawi for the Group B game in Bafoussam.
The award is a boast for Mendy as he seeks to help Senegal, one of the favorites for this TotalEnergies AFCON title.