'I think I can win it': 29-year-old Chelsea man backs himself to win prestigious individual prize

Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has said he feels assured about picking up the Yashin award at the Ballon d’Or ceremony this evening.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Mendy revealed his confident outlook on the awarding of the individual accolade, which shall be announced later today.

The 29-year-old is amongst the front runners to collect the prize, which is limited only to ‘keepers.

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Magic mits of Mendy

In fact, it’s hard to look past the Senegalese international, even with the calibre of competition he is up against.

He has kept the same number of clean sheets as he has conceded goals (36) since his move to Stamford Bridge from Rennes last September.

Mendy was an unbeatable force throughout Chelsea’s successful Champions League journey last season, recording nine shut-outs and ultimately earning him UEFA’s Goalkeeper of the Year honour.

His performances between the sticks haven’t slowed down this season, as he chases the Premier League Golden Glove.

Currently, he is tied with Liverpool’s Alisson Becker and Manchester City’s Ederson on seven clean sheets, with the latter also jostling for the Yashin trophy.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Self-belief from the Senegalese

Despite the quality of opponents, Mendy still had faith the title would be ending up in his cabinet.

“Of course I think I can win it,” he said.

“(If I do win it) I think it would be something I would have deserved. It’s something I have worked hard to get, so it would be a great pride given my journey.”

“A few years ago, I was unemployed, without a club and today I find myself named among the best goalkeepers in the world.

“It’s something really positive. It shows me that I’m on the right path and in a good place to win titles and be the best in the world.”

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If the award was purely based around fairy-tale stories, then Mendy would win hands down.

In 2014, the shot-stopper did not have a club and was forced to take unemployment benefits in France.

He thankfully earned a move to Marseille the following year and the rest, as they say, is history.

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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.