Mendy: Being an African Did Me a Disservice in Ballon d’Or Rankings

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By Martin Graham | 21st Feb 2022

African Cup of Nations title winner Édouard Mendy claims that being an African contributed to his Ballon d’Or snub in 2021.

The Chelsea goalkeeper says he does not understand why he was snubbed from the award and believes that his lack of involvement in international competitions last year was a key reason why he was omitted from the top 30 list.

The Senegal goalkeeper was one of the standout players last year and helped Chelsea win the UEFA Champions League as well as the UEFA Super Cup. Mendy was also a colossus in his first season in the Premier League has only title winners Manchester City kept more clean sheets than he did.

He has already won two trophies in 2022 with Chelsea winning the club World Cup and Senegal winning their first-ever African Cup of Nations title.

For all of his heroics last year, the 29-year-old shot-stopper was named the best FIFA men’s goalkeeper which makes his Ballon d’Or snub all the more unexplainable.

Speaking to French football programme Téléfoot, Mendy said: “The best response was to stay the course on the pitch to show that my name deserved to be in the top 30.

“I think being African did me a disservice because I didn’t play in any international competitions last year.”

Mohamed Salah and Riyad Mahrez were the only Africans within the top 30 of the Ballon d’Or rankings, which Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi won for the record seventh time.

Tuchel gives injury update ahead of Champions League clash

Elsewhere Chelsea will be taking on French champions LOSC Lille in their UEFA Champions League round of 16 game later this week.

However, the Blues have a few key absences due to injury and will be hoping that Lille do not come with their guns blazing in the tie as they hoped to defend their Champions League title this season.

Currently Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, and Cesar Azpilicueta are all out injured for the current Champions League title holders.

However, Tuchel has claimed that Azpilicueta could return in time for the clutch tie against the French champions as his recovery is progressing faster than expected.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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