Édouard Mendy’s journey from the unemployment line to the very top of the football world is certainly the stuff of movies, and regardless of what may or may not happen on the pitch, who may or may not be scoring, and what trophies we may or may not win, it is probably good to take a step back every once in a while and appreciate that incredible and most inspiring achievement of human will, determination, and perseverance — and skill, of course.
And just in case that’s not enough, we can get a double dose by looking at N’Golo Kanté, who also rose from the depths of the lower leagues in France to stand on top of the mountaintop. In fact, Mendy and Kanté played against each other a decade ago in the French third division, though Mendy was still just a backup for AS Cherbourg then as they lost twice to Kanté’s US Boulogne in 2012-13.
That they’re now both at Chelsea as Champions of Europe and the World is something that we probably don’t appreciate enough.
“Yes, we have spoken about it a lot of times. It’s good and honestly, it is like a dream to find another player who has been at a similar club from the same division as you. Yes, we talk about it and it is beautiful to find him here and now win trophies with him.”
So how does one (or two, as it were) make it from utter anonymity to be the best in the world? Simple, really. Not easy, but simple.
“Always keep working, have faith in your work, believe in yourself, and when you have an opportunity to show what you can do, to take it and hold onto it. Always try to be better and better every day because finding a club is a good start, but to be better and better is the most difficult thing.
“The first competition is against yourself, so you have to be better than yesterday and always ready to improve.”
That’s the sort of mentality that many professionals share, and it’s one we could all also use in our daily personal and professional lives.
And Mendy believes we’re going to see the rewards of that as far as the team’s performances go as well.
“We had many injuries, covid cases [...] it is not an excuse, just a fact. [And] yes, that’s true, in December our results in the Premier League were not good enough but we were still playing well but did not win a lot of games.
“I think, after the Club World Cup and the Premier League game this week, the things are getting better and better.”
-Édouard Mendy; source: Football.London
As Édou says, you’ve just got to keep the faith.