'I like him very much': AC Milan icon Dida names the Chelsea player he really rates

AC Milan’s legendary former goalkeeper Dida had some kind words to say about Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy on the eve of the Champions League final.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Dida detailed how he was a fan of the Blues current shot stopper.

Mendy arrived from Rennes last September, in order to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga as no.1 ’keeper, a position that has been confirmed as the campaign’s rolled on.

His final task to top off an excellent debut season is to help Chelsea claim their first title in the competition since 2012.

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Milan’s Mendy lover

Dida, who won two Champions League with Milan in 2003 and 2007, admitted he was an admirer of Mendy.

He said: “I watched a few of his Champions League and Premier League games, and I like him very much.

“I personally like goalkeepers who are able to play with their feet as I believe that it is a sign of personality, which has also become a fundamental skill in modern football.”

Coming from a player who won the 2005 FIFAPRO Goalkeeper of the Year and a Milan Hall of Fame inductee, Mendy should not take Dida’s compliments lightly.

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Cech mate

Of course, the Senegalese international is not averse to receiving praise from the game’s greats.

Petr Cech was completely complimentary about Mendy’s abilities shortly after he signed for Chelsea.

Talking to the club website, Cech explained: “He (Mendy) is a very all-round goalkeeper. He is very good with his feet.

“He has all the range of distribution, from long to short, and as well in the last two years if you watch European football, the way he dominates crossing situations and high balls in the area is unlike anybody else.”

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Closing City’s chances

A tough act to follow, but Mendy has already proven he is worth the praise.

The 29-year-old managed 24 clean sheets in 43 Chelsea appearances, conceding just 24 times.

Manchester City will aim to change that tally on Saturday evening.

If Mendy can channel his inner Dida or Cech, he should be in good stead to stop City’s quest.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.