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Édouard Mendy wins the Best African International award

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The fairytale continues

Manchester City v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Chelsea goalkeeper Édouard Mendy had a fantastic first season at Stamford Bridge after arriving from Stade Rennais, keeping a plethora of clean sheets (25 in 43 in all competitions), including in the Champions League final against Manchester City. It was a fairy tale moment for the 29-year-old who had been applying for unemployment benefits just seven years previous.

And Mendy’s efforts have been rewarded not just with trophies but individual accolades as well. He was named in UEFA’s Champions League Squad of the Season and, last night, was named the “Best African International” at the third annual Ghana Football Awards. This would appear to be a special award bestowed by said organization on the Senegalese goalkeeper. The other nominees for the award included Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez (Morocco) and AC Milan’s Franck Kessié (Côte d’Ivoire).

Mendy had a few words of gratitude to express via a video call after receiving the award.

"Hi everyone, I am happy and grateful to receive this award from the Ghana Football Awards Board.

"It has been an incredible year for me and winning the Champions League remains one of the best achievements in my life. I thank the Ghanaians and all Africans across the world for their support and prayer.

"I appreciate the recognition as the best African international player and promise to do more to make Africa proud, thank you."

-Édouard Mendy; source: Goal

Mendy’s a living embodiment of the rewards of hard work, persistency, and the will to never give up. Here’s to many more award- and trophy-winning years between the Chelsea goalposts!