Senegal face Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations final and there will be a whole host of world-class players on show.
Some things in life just go together perfectly. Take Edouard Mendy and finals, for example.
The Chelsea shot-stopper is potentially just 90 minutes away from getting his hands on yet another trophy as Senegal prepare to face Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations’ showpiece event.
Mendy and Senegal have done fantastically to reach the AFCON final, though they’ll have to get past Mohamed Salah’s Egypt if they want to be crowned champions.
Despite contracting Covid-19 just days before the tournament kicked off, Mendy has been solid throughout, conceding just two goals in six matches so far.
The Stamford Bridge faithful were left baffled when Mendy narrowly missed out on the Yashin Trophy at the back end of 2021, with Paris Saint-Germain’s Gianluigi Donnarumma somehow scooping the award ahead of the Senegal international.
Sunday’s final offers Mendy the chance to once again prove he should have been placed ahead of Donnarumma in the final standings, as he prepares to come up against arguably the best player on the planet right now in Liverpool hitman Salah.
Of course, Mendy will have a Liverpool forward of his own to call upon as he aims to be crowned an AFCON champion, with Sadio Mane expected to lead Senegal’s bid for glory.
It’s strange to think that Mane could play a part in proving Mendy shouldn’t have been overlooked when the Yashin Trophy was handed out last year, while he could also put a dent in his Liverpool teammate’s Ballon d’Or hopes.
As reported by the Evening Standard, Mane admitted back in October to being shocked that the Chelsea goalkeeper hadn’t been included on the 30-man shortlist for the 2021 Ballon d’Or award.
“It is unacceptable. I do not understand,” he said.
Little less than two months on from the Ballon d’Or award ceremony, Mendy pipped Donnarumma to be crowned The Best FIFA Goalkeeper and now he finds himself in yet another final.
Last season, Mendy had one of the best individual debut campaigns a player could ask for, winning the Champions League and playing a key role in ensuring Chelsea qualified for the Champions League. Now he has the chance to become an AFCON champion with Senegal.
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Prior to his international debut in 2018 he had endured a number of testing times in his career.
He was released by AS Cherbourg in 2014 and was left without a club. He would later join Ligue 2 side Reims who were promoted to Ligue 1 in 2018 and he’s now on the verge of adding ‘AFCON winner’ to his CV alongside ‘European champion’.