The Senegal international has recalled how he struggled to achieve his dreams of becoming a professional footballer
Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has recollected his journey to stardom, including how his mother let down tears of joy after finally securing a move to Marseille B.
The shot-stopper, in his quest to become a professional footballer, teamed up with Le Havre AC academy and then joined Cherbourg’s first team.
After spending three years with Cherbourg, he was released and was without a club for a year which made him start contemplating quitting football.
Succor came the way of the 29-year-old when he got an opportunity to play for the Marseille reserve team and revealed how the move changed his life for good.
“I had just refused a CFA club which offered me to sign for €900. By being soon a father, it was inconceivable,” Mendy told France Football.
“A friend had a shop and was looking for someone to manage it, I was ready to accept but Ted Lavie[teammate at Cherbourg] called me: ‘Edou, I spoke with the coach of the OM reserve goalkeepers. He’s looking for someone, are you interested?’ No one other than my parents knew I was going.”
“I came out of the locker room, I saw Lass Diarra, Ocampos, Nkoulou … two weeks ago, I watched them on TV against Juve. It was the three days most stressful. Without stopping, my parents asked me: ‘So, they called you?’”
“On Friday evening, Stephane [Cassard] told me that my trial was successful and that they were waiting for me on Monday. All the weight that I have been carrying for a year suddenly left. I will remember this call all my life.
“My mother had held back her tears for a year, she let it all go. I saw smiles on my faces again, it was too good.”
Mendy has continued to experience rapid development and last summer he joined Premier League giants Chelsea from Rennes for a fee of £22 million.
The shot-stopper has kept 22 clean sheets in 36 appearances for the Stamford Bridge outfit since his arrival, helping the Blues to fourth spot on the league table and inspiring them to the Champions League semi-finals.
“I know that I have kept a lot of clean sheets but I do not count them because it is not something that I believe in.
“The goalkeeper is important as the guy in front is at the end of the action. In the end, I have to make the saves, yes. But in front of me, there is a whole structure, 10 players who move and make it harder for the opponent. It’s a team performance and not something I can own on my own.”
Mendy will hope to feature when Chelsea take on Real Madrid in their first leg semi-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday night.