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Edouard Mendy has enjoyed a rapid rise in football. He once even thought about quitting the game. But his story is one of true inspiration, and one that has been filled with success.
His most recent success has come in the form of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. The goalkeeper kept a clean sheet for Senegal in the final against Egypt. His country eventually won on penalties to win their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations title.
— Football (@FootballSenegal) February 6, 2022
The Chelsea shot-stopper produced many fantastic displays en route to that success. And after the match, his teammate Kalidou Koulibaly was quick to point out Mendy’s status as the best goalkeeper in the world.
“It was a tough game and a tough tournament. We made it with our team and our power. Our goalkeeper is the best in the world and we win the title,” said Koulibaly, as reported by Eurosport. But how much truth is there behind that sentiment?
Is Mendy the best in the world?
Senegal’s number one has an astonishing list of honours to his name. And they have all come in such a short space of time. It began with the 2017/18 Ligue 2 title at Reims.
Last year saw the goalkeeper clinch both the Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup. And individually, he was named as the Champions League Goalkeeper of the Season. He was also The Best FIFA Goalkeeper in 2021.
Mendy now adds the 2021 AFCON title and 2021 AFCON Best Goalkeeper award to that list.
The Chelsea star boasts 24 clean sheets from his 51 league appearances for the Blues. Eight of those have come from 20 matches this season.
The world’s leading goalkeepers
Koulibaly strongly believes his compatriot to be the best in the world. But there are a handful of goalkeepers across Europe who will think otherwise.
Mendy’s Premier League rivals Ederson and Alisson are well within their rights to claim the title. Ederson currently tops the Premier League clean sheet list this season. He has 12, with Liverpool’s Alisson two behind on 10. Both have been at the top of their game in recent seasons.
There are, of course, plenty of world-class shot-stoppers outside of England.
Jan Oblak and Manuel Neuer are flying the flags for their respective leagues. The former has been key to Atletico’s firm stance at the back for several years now. His instincts and reflexes have kept out countless goals when that Atletico defence is finally broken.
Neuer meanwhile has been a rock between the sticks for Bayern Munich and Germany for over a decade.
And no modern goalkeeper conversation would be complete without Gianluigi Donnaruma. The Italian made his mark in world football at a very young age. And since then, he has gone from strength to strength.
The 22-year-old now occupies the number one spot at PSG. In his brief career so far, he has lifted the European Championship with his country, and also clinched the Player of the Tournament award for his efforts in that memorable tournament last summer.