Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has revealed he almost quit football, at a point in his career due to lack of opportunities and difficulties. Mendy joined Chelsea from French outfit Rennes in a £ 24 Million deal, following the English club’s loss of patience with stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga, after a series of errors.
The Senegal star has explained how difficult it was for him, six years ago, living under unpleasant conditions with unemployment support his saving grace and not having a football club for a year, while his partner was expecting a baby.
Speaking during an interview with Chelsea TV, the 28-year-old narrated how he went from not having a club to landing a deal with one of Europe’s biggest football clubs.
“Back then when I got the message from my agent at the time. I went back immediately to training at the club where I was training when I was young. I was training with the reserves there every morning and in the afternoon, I will go to the gym or I will go with my brother to the pitch to practice shot-stopping. I had unemployment support as at that time so I could dedicate myself totally to football. But it was incredibly difficult and also, my partner was expecting our first baby. As a result, unemployment support was not going to be enough for us. We needed something else so I was looking for a job, but then I had the opportunity to go to Marseille and I was offered a trial. I had to give my absolute everything to get the opportunity to join that club. Fortunately for me, it worked and when it did it was like a complete relief for me because one year without football is an incredibly long time
“I did genuinely have my doubt whether I would carry on. But I look at it now and say that it is thanks to those moments that I am where I am today.
Mendy was handed the number one spot by Chelsea manager after joining the London club and has managed to keep three clean sheets in three appearances against Crystal Palace, Manchester United and Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League.
The journey to Chelsea was not easy for the French-born Senegalese international, but his family helped him to cope better with the tough times. He says he would remain thankful to them.
“It was very difficult back then. On the one hand, you have the anchor of finding yourself without a club because of my agent but, then there is the disappointment of not being able to play at the weekends, not being able to compete. That is hard for a footballer and a year is a very long time for a footballer too. Fortunately, I could always count on my family because there were times where it was challenging but my family helped me through that. If someone had said to me six years ago when I did not have a club that I would be Chelsea’s number one, I would not have bothered listening to them.“