Edouard Mendy becomes first African goalkeeper to win UEFA Champions League
Senegalese keeper, Edouard Mendy, became the first African to win the UEFA Champions League (since it was renamed) after helping Chelsea to a 1-0 victory over Premier League giant, Manchester City.
Mendy had little to do at the UCL final thanks to Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Andreas Christiensen's tactfulness in the defense line as well as N'golo Kante's outstanding performance, amongst other Chelsea players.
Mendy had it rough in his career before ending up as Chelsea's number one shot-stopper and an eventual Champions League winner.
WUZUPNIGERIA gathered that the Senegalese started his professional career at AS Cherbourg, which were then in the Championnat National, the third tier of the French football league system.
However, in the summer of 2014, Mendy was clubless and began to look for jobs outside of football at the age of 22.
"I did genuinely have my doubts about whether I would carry on," Mendy said in a later interview.
However, in 2015, Mendy was recommended to fill a goalkeeping vacancy at Marseille by a friend and former teammate, Ted Lavie.
After just one phone call with the academy goalkeeping coach, Dominique Bernatowicz, Marseille signed Mendy as their fourth choice goalkeeper.
He played the 2015–16 Season in Marseille's reserve team, primarily as a backup to Florian Escales.
Mendy moved on to Reims (2016-2019) before joining Rennes (2019-2020), the club that eventually sold him to Chelsea in the summer of 2020.
Seven years after his odyssey in labour market, Mendy on Saturday lifted the Champions League for Chelsea in a record-breaking fashion.
Records show that Zimbabwe's Bruce Grobbelaar won the titles during the European Cup era in 1984 with Liverpool 37-years-ago to became the first African player to feature in a European Cup final, with the Liverpool stopper influential as the Reds defeated AS Roma on penalties in 1984.
His second attempt in the final of the competition hit a snag a year after when Italian giant Juventus downed Liverpool in the 1985 final.
Aside from becoming the first African goalkeeper to win a Champions League title, Mendy equalled the Champions League's clean sheet record.
Mendy recorded nine clean sheets in this season's Champions League to equal Santiago Canizares for Valencia in the 2000-01 competition) and Keylor Navas record for Real Madrid in 2015-16.