Chelsea Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was on benefits aged 22 and considered quitting football.
The giant Senegalese, who stands at 6ft 6in tall is arguably the most in-form shot stopper in the world. He was instrumental in Chelsea winning the Champions League last season and he is continuing to star in his defensive role.
Amazing defensive record
So far in this current season Chelsea have only conceded 3 goals which is the fewest in Europe. This is down to a great defensive team including the amazing Mendy. Many expert pundits are saying that he is currently the best goalkeeper in the world.
This completes a remarkable turnaround in the life of Mendy, a £22million signing from Rennes in 2020. It was only seven years ago that Mendy, was unemployed after his contract expired with French fourth tier side Cherbourg.
And after a deal with a League One club collapsed, it appeared his days as a professional footballer were over as he signed on the dole.
On the scrapheap
Mendy was just 22 when his deal with Cherbourg expired. Wanting to take on a new challenge, he was offered contracts by other clubs.
But it was the temptation of moving across the Channel to an unknown League One side that seemed the most attractive. The player’s former agent gave him assurances a deal was done; however, Mendy soon discovered the job offer didn’t work out.
It left the promising talent club-less, unemployed and queuing at the job centre. Away from the game for a year, Mendy was forced to consider quitting football to do something else. He collected the dole – just to make ends meet.
“For a football player or anybody else, being unemployed is like getting slapped across the face,” Mendy told So Foot magazine. “Repeated failures leave marks on you, and you start thinking that maybe you are not made for it.”
With his confidence severely dented, Mendy returned to the club where it all began for him as a youth player, Le Havre. He trained religiously for a year, unpaid, until a former team-mate told him that Marseille was looking for a goalkeeper to replace reserves Julien Fabri and Brice Samba, who were sent out on loan.
Mendy succeeded in a trial with the 1993 European Cup winners and was signed as a fourth-choice keeper.
There, he worked with French international Steve Mandanda and played in the B side. “I reached a new level in Marseille,” he revealed. “I trained with the pros throughout the year, which you normally would not expect as a No. 4 keeper.
“It was proof that I performed well and made all the efforts required. It was a rewarding year.
He got his break
In search of regular playing time, Mendy moved to Ligue 2 outfit Reims in 2016. It was time for him to finally make his breakthrough in the game. When first-choice keeper Johann Carrasso was sent off, Mendy got his opportunity. Seven games and three clean sheets later, a star was born.
Mendy became first-choice in 2017-18 and helped the club gain promotion to Ligue 1.
Rennes to Chelsea
It was only in summer 2019 that Mendy signed for Rennes for a fee of £3.5million.
And his rise has been rapid. He helped his new club finish in the top three in France’s Ligue Un last season.
More importantly, Rennes qualified for the Champions League thanks to his exploits.
Commanding between the sticks, late-developer Mendy has continued to blossom at Chelsea.
In his 31 games in the Premier League, he kept 16 clean sheets in a promising debut season. And this season he’s continued where he left off last and is easily one of the World’s best right now.
What great Mental Resilience
What a great example of Mental Resilience! He was unemployed at 22, had faced rejection and failure but he didn’t give up. I talk about two things which are fundamental to success – Work Hard and Never Give Up.
This is what Mendy did. He trained with a football club for a year without pay just to try to improve. He had an inner self-belief which didn’t allow him to give up because deep down he knew he had it in him to succeed.
It is a great example of hard work and determination paying off. Nothing of value is ever achieved without hard work and perseverance. But the joy and satisfaction that work brings is worth every hour spent in working towards your dream.
Thoughts for the week.
- Are you about to give up on something?
- If you are I ask you to keep going.
- Author Steven King’s first novel was rejected by 30 top publishers, dejected he threw the bin, but his wife persuaded him to try one more time and the rest is history.
- This week be encouraged to keep going try one more time.
Well that’s it for this week have a wonderful weekend and keep going.