Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy thinks he could have made the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist if he were a France international.
He was the first African goalkeeper to play in the European competition final since 1985 and he kept nine clean sheets in the tournament last campaign – the most ever by a goalkeeper in his debut campaign.
Despite his fine displays for Chelsea, Mendy was not recognised for the prestigious individual honour for the best players in the world and he has reacted to the snub.
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The 29-year-old admitted that his performances are inspired by the Ballon d’Or and he is still surprised to miss out after the fine debut campaign at Chelsea.
“It’s something that motivates me and pushes me to work. Honestly, I am wondering,” Mendy told Canal Plus via Wiw Sport.
“If I had played for France and had taken part in the Euro, would we have this debate and this reflection?”
Mendy has continued from where he stopped last season in this term, but his five-game clean sheet record for the Blues was ended by Burnley on Saturday after a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Mendy’s omission from the shortlist also came as a surprise to his international teammates Sadio Mane and Kalidou Koulibaly.
The duo who were nominated for the award in 2019, voiced out their disappointment after Senegal’s 4-1 win over Namibia in their 2022 World Cup qualifiers in October.
“It is unacceptable. I do not understand,” Mane said, per Evening Standard.
Meanwhile, Napoli defender Koulibaly described Mendy’s omission as “a shame” after his displays for Chelsea last season.
“It’s a real shame that Edou isn’t one of them. He is the first African goalkeeper to win the Champions League,” Koulibaly said
“We must continue to work and move forward. We have to do the double [the work] of some people to be well judged.
“Edou is a very positive person. We talked about it together. He will continue to fight to be part of it. For me, he has a place among these 30 players.”