Nearly every member of the Chelsea squad has already offered their congratulations to history-maker Edouard Mendy after he helped his nation Senegal win their first ever Africa Cup of Nations trophy.
Chelsea’s No.16 didn’t have a lot to do over the full 120 minutes bar a big save from Mohamed Salah, and deal with a few nerves that were clear when having to claim crosses from corners and free-kicks.
However, it was another weapon that not many knew about that allowed the Teranga Lions to go up against the odds and beat the North African side at something they were specialists in throughout the whole tournament- penalty kicks.
Chelsea’s signing of the 2021 summer transfer window came in clutch when it really mattered as he guessed the right way to deny Mohaned Lasheen, allowing Mane to right the wrongs of his earlier missed spot kick.
The AFCON win has coupled with the tournament’s award for best goalkeeper, added to the Champions League win and the FIFA Best Goalkeeper award that the once nearly-unemployed player has attained during his Chelsea career.
Other than missing out on the Yashin award to PSG’s Gianluigi Donnarumma, to Thomas Tuchel’s annoyance and disbelief, Mendy’s year other than the odd minor blip has been immaculate, and this has been reflected in how his Chelsea pals have reacted to his great achievements.
Chelsea players present and passed have reacted on Instagram to Senegal’s win over Mohamed Salah’s Egypt in Cameroon.
@marcosalonso28 commented: ‘The King.’
@jorginhofrello put: ‘Yessss papaiii. You deserve it.’
@Toniruediger simply put: Edoooooouuuuuuuu.’
@calteck10 similarly wrote: ‘Edouuuu.’
@emersonpalmieri just summed up his emotions with two flame emojis.
@mariomelchiot1 said: ‘Congrats champ.’
@johnterry.26, as we already know, also got involved: ‘congratulations.’
@cesarazpi in a similar way to Rudiger and Hudson-Odoi wrote: ‘Edouuuuuu.’
@masonmount commented on one of Mendy’s post with the same: ‘edouuuuu!!’
@hziyech summed up his feelings with two clapping hands emojis.
@benchillwell sent a three word message: ‘What a guy!’
@reecejames who wished the goalkeeper good luck before the game, said: ‘well deserved brother.’
@yungchalobah reacted with three goat emojis.
@malang_sarr put on his Insta story a picture of Mendy captioned with: ‘Sky is the limit.’
@fikayotomori wrote an emotions two word message on his story which translated to: ‘congratulations brothers.’
@oliviergiroud rightly mentioned: ‘Best goalkeeper of the tournament.’
@tammyabraham like many others put: ‘Eduuuuuu!!! Congrats big brother.’
Finally, @romelulukaku’s message translated to: ‘congratulations my brother.’
The goalkeeper receiving all the love himself has sent an emotional message on Instagram, and fans loved his live post whilst touring the Senegalese capital Dakar on Monday night with his international compatriots.
But, Chelsea will need their No.16 to recalibrate quickly as he prepares to jet off and join the team ahead of the Club World Cup campaign starting on Wednesday.
It would be highly unlikely to see Mendy start the semi-final considering the short turnaround coupled with Kepa Arrizabalaga’s form as demonstrated by his Plymouth heroics.
However, if Chelsea were to win Al Hilal, then there’s a good chance that their serial winning shot stopper will be given the nod despite the £72million man’s resurgence in form this term.