Eduardo Mendy, the man with the FIFA and AFCON golden gloves has history good for the motivation books.
He was dumped via SMS by his agent at age 22. He was unemployed for a year and joined other job hunters looking for a job. He had to work for a full year without a salary just to prove himself. It’s easy to fall in love with football when you’re born in a football-crazy country like France.
His African immigrant parents supported his dream of becoming a professional football player by enrolling him in one of the best football academies in France. He was enrolled into the Le Havre Academy, an academy that has helped develop talents like Diarra, Pogba, Payet, Mahrez, etc. In football, everyone wants to be the striker or midfielder but all he wanted to be was a “Goalkeeper” and he was built for it. Despite being good, he wasn’t Le Havre’s first choice and had to leave to join a 3rd division club, Cherbourg in 2011 where he began his professional career. But even in 3rd division club, he wasn’t good enough and was released after 3years in 2014.
After being released by his club in 2014, he tried calling his agent severally but he didn’t take his calls. He later got an SMS from him wishing him good luck in the future. So at age 22, he was rejected by the club and agent, it was ground zero. Mendy spent a year outside football lining up in queues looking for a job in Northern France. He decided to quit football but his family encouraged him to try again and not give up on his dreams.
He decided to try one more time.“YOU CAN ALWAYS TRY AGAIN!!!” He decided to start all over again at age 24 by returning to the club he started as a kid, Le Harve to train and play for free!!! Chelsea signed Kepa at age 23 for 71M but here he was playing for free, playing to get a chance at his dream. In 2015, he was recommended to fill the goalkeeping vacancy at French club Marseille by his friend and former teammate, Ted Lavie. After one phone call with Marseille’s academy goalkeeping coach, he was signed as Marseille’s 4th choice goalkeeper.
He played in the reserves for Marseille and joined Ligue 2 side, Reims in 2016 for more game time. He made his debut when first-choice goalkeeper, Johann was sent off 5minutes into the match. He kept 3 clean sheets in his next 7 matches. He won the Ligue 2 title with Reims keeping 18 clean sheets in 34 games. He played in Ligue 1 with Reims and kept 14 clean sheets, the third-highest of any goalkeeper with Reims finishing 8th.In 2019, he joined Rennes, things only got better. He helped Rennes finish 3rd in Ligue 1 helping them qualify for the UEFA Champions League. And that was when the big blues came calling, Chelsea signed him for 22M in September 2020 at age 27, and in just two years, he has conquered football.
In the past 10months, Edouard Mendy has achieved the following;- UEFA Champions League- UEFA Super Cup- UEFA Goalkeeper Of The Year- FIFA Best Goalkeeper Of The Year- AFCON- AFCON Best GoalkeeperIn 10months, he has achieved so much for a goalkeeper that was jobless at 22. An Igbo adage says, “Onye kwe, Chi Ya Ekwe”, meaning if you give consent, your God will alongside you also give consent. If you don’t give up on yourself, trust me, God won’t give up on you. Success starts with you believing in yourself, giving yourself another chance after any failure. Keep Trying!!!
SOURCE: Facebook share from the wall of Prince Ifeanyichukwu Emmanuel Anyipro