Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has broken his silence on being snubbed for the Ballon d’Or 2021 shortlist. Mendy believes it wasn’t an “injustice” and instead said it would motivate him to continue his rich vein of form.
The shortlist for this year’s Ballon d’Or has been debated rather extensively over the last month. Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jorginho and Robert Lewandowski are the headline names on the list. The likes of Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Kevin De Bruyne and Kylian Mbappe are also in the running for the 2021 Ballon d’Or.
However, one of the most notable absentees was Mendy. The 29-year-old won the Champions League with Chelsea during the 2020-21 campaign and also added the UEFA Super Cup at the start of the 2021-22 season. As such, many believed this was enough to merit a Ballon d’Or nomination.
Mendy was especially crucial to the Blues’ Champions League success, keeping nine clean sheets in 12 matches. He conceded just three goals overall and managed a shutout in the final as well.
Mendy’s absence from the Ballon d’Or shortlist was not well received by some of his teammates. His Senegal compatriots Kalidou Koulibaly and Sadio Mane seemed particularly unhappy with the goalkeeper’s omission.
Koulibaly called it a “real shame,” while Mane termed it “unacceptable.” Mendy’s Chelsea teammate Antonio Rudiger also expressed his shock at the 29-year-old not receiving a nomination for the 2021 Ballon d’Or in a tweet.
Mendy has now opened up on the matter, saying he was “touched” by the messages of support he received.
“I saw the list at the same time as many people, and I got a lot of messages from people close to me and from some I didn’t even know, so I was really touched by this wave of messages I got, whether it be calls or on social media,” Mendy told Canal+ (via Sport Witness).
“It’s something that’s really huge, it really touched me to a point I wasn’t expecting. All this affection and recognition is what pushes me to work and continue to get titles with club and country. It’s just happiness and motivation.”
When asked if he felt his omission from the Ballon d’Or shortlist was unjust, Mendy replied in the negative.
“Do I think it’s an injustice? No, I wouldn’t use that word. It’s something that motivates me to go forward, to work and be performant at club level and with my country, and as I said after the game with the national team, it’s the journalists’ freedom of vote and expression, and they vote honourably and conscientiously.”
Edouard Mendy has been in stunning form for Chelsea this season
Edouard Mendy has begun the 2021-22 campaign for Chelsea exactly where he left off last season. The Senegal international has put in a number of excellent performances, most recently in Chelsea’s nervy 1-0 victory over Brentford in the Premier League.
Overall, he has played in 10 matches for Chelsea this term and has kept five clean sheets. Mendy has conceded just five goals so far, and has helped Thomas Tuchel’s side sit atop the Premier League table with 19 points from eight matches.