Edouard Mendy ignited scenes of joy while representing Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations on Monday, after becoming the first African to earn FIFA’s Best Goalkeeper award.
The 29-year-old received the coveted award following a remarkable season in goal for Chelsea, when he assisted the team in winning the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup.
And, after it was revealed that he had beaten Gianluigi Donnarumma and Manuel Neuer to the trophy, he was hailed as a hero by his Senegal teammates in a heartwarming moment.
Mendy can be seen celebrating his success in a video recorded by Bayern Munich and Senegal full-back Bouna Sarr, as his international teammates clap and punch the air with glee.
While Mendy was unable to attend the event in person, his presence was almost certainly enhanced by the presence of his countrymen.
Mendy turned to Instagram following his triumph to express his gratitude to everyone for assisting him in achieving a lifetime dream.
‘What an honor it is to accept this award today,’ he added.
‘I am even more thrilled to be the first African goalie to win this championship, and I hope to pave the way for many more.
‘The first thought that occurs to me is THANK YOU.
‘I’d like to express my gratitude to my companion, my children, my family, and everyone else who surrounds me.
‘I’d want to express my gratitude to the French clubs that coached me and helped me to develop.
‘I’d want to express my gratitude to my club Chelsea, my coach, the staff, and the players.
I’d like to express my gratitude to my nation, Senegal, my coach and his staff, and all of the players on my team.
‘I will continue to work diligently, as I have done in the past, to sustain this level of performance and win other titles.
‘To finish, I would want to emphasize that you should believe in yourself and your aspirations, always give your best, and trust yourself; everything is possible.’