Čech’s successor went without football for a year. He fed a pregnant woman on unemployment benefits

Last year Chelsea dominated the Champions League, now lead the Premier League and, after years, are again among the most serious contenders for the title. Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who follows in the footsteps of club legend Petr Čech, has an important part in the success of the Blues.

The 29-year-old Senegalese’s current behavior is the culmination of a dramatic story that took a dramatic turn a year ago, when Chelsea bought him back from Rennes for € 24m (around € 620m). crowns).

In London he quickly gained the number one spot and his back is covered by even better-known Spaniard Kepa Arrizabalaga. According to The Sun, Mendy currently has even the best form of any goalie in the world.

He followed the Czechs

In a certain direction, Mendy follows in the footsteps of club legend Petr Čech. He also came from France and started his Premier League career as impressively as the former member of the Czech national team. He is the first goalkeeper since 2004 to maintain three net counts on his Premier League debut. Before him, it was Czech who succeeded.

The first opportunity to show off was the Carabao Cup, which is not very attractive for clubs in the big English competition and often sends less busy players to play.

“I was surprised how quickly he fell. From the first chance he got in the cup against Tottenham he gave the team a guarantee that he could be calm back. it’s about working in the lime, that’s very important to us, “commented Frank Lampard, then Mendy’s coach.

Year in queues for work

Seven years ago, at a time when he still reigned among the Czech poles at Chelsea and was one of the best goalkeepers in the world, but Mendy was down and it looked like he would put an end to football altogether.

“Indeed, at the time, I doubted to continue with football,” he revealed recently.

After his engagement in the French Fourth League, he was without a contract. However, several offers reached him, he eventually chose a foreign address in the English League One (third highest competition).

The agent then assured the 22-year-old goalkeeper that an agreement had already been reached with the club and that he could count on a new employer. However, as it soon became clear, this was not true. The dream of the young guardian vanishes.

Other offers have meanwhile leaked, leaving him without a club as his partner fell pregnant. So he had no choice but to queue at the employment office. He ended up staying there for a whole year. Of course, he thought his professional football career was over. This gap is clearly visible in his sports CV. An engagement in Cherbourg is followed by an empty column.

The unemployed footballer lived on support. “It was the same for me as it was for anyone else. Being out of work is a slap in the face,” Mendy said in a confession to So Foot magazine.

“If you fail multiple times in a row it will have consequences for you. You will start to say that you just don’t have it,” he returned to the days when he was supported.

He also trained in Le Havre, where he started playing football. “I tried to devote myself fully to football. It was a very difficult time. We were having a baby and it was clear that our support would not be enough. I started looking for another job,” said Mendy.

Last chance

It was then that he probably had his last chance to save his football career. After a year of training without a contract, he seized Marseille’s offer through his teammates, who were looking for a replacement goalkeeper. He passed the tests among the other candidates and signed a contract. At that time, there were four of them in the hierarchy of club goalkeepers.

That’s why he caught the B team all season, but he also trained with the main team. “It was a whole new level. During the year I trained with professionals, which wouldn’t normally be a chance for the fourth goalkeeper,” he said.

He then traveled from Marseille to Reims. There he became number one and helped the team climb to the top of French competition. At that point, he started the stellar part of his career. And the first big transfer was waiting for him. Rennes looked for him, who paid 3.5 million euros (180 million crowns) for him.

It confirms the meteoric rise of his career in Brittany. The club with Mendy at the back reached third place in the league and thanks to his great merits he also reached the Premier League. The rainy northwest of France was his home for only a year. Chelsea attracted so much that the club spent 24million euros (616million crowns) on it even during the time of the coronavirus.

“If someone had told me seven years ago that I would end up here, I wouldn’t have even listened to them. Now, looking back, I’m grateful and happy where I’m from and that my family has something to do with it. thing to do with it, ”he added.

The arrival of the goalkeeper was also greeted by the coach at the time. “He also has a great character, which you never know in advance for a player until you bring him into the squad. He communicates, trains honestly and befriends his teammates “, congratulated Lampard.

Mendy regained confidence even after the arrival of German coach Thomas Tuchel. In his first Premier League season he caught 31 games and kept 16 net counts, out of the current five he has already scored after eight games.

Winston Ferguson

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