Senegal international and Chelsea GK Edouard Mendy has opened up on his pride at being awarded The Best Goalkeeper for 2021 Award on Monday night.
The ceremony took place in Zurich, with Mendy handed the individual award for his last year.
Taking to Instagram, Mendy opened up in a heartfelt and emotional acceptance letter.
He wrote: “What a pride to receive this award today. I am even prouder to be the first African goalkeeper in history to win this title, and I hope to pave the way for many others.
“The first word that comes to my mind is THANK YOU.
“Thank you to my companion, my children, my family and all those around me.
Thank you to the French clubs that trained me and allowed me to evolve.
Thank you to my club Chelsea, my coach, the staff and the players.
Thank you to my country, Senegal, my coach and his staff, and all the players of my selection.
“I will continue to work hard, as I have always done, to maintain this level of performance and win new titles.
“To conclude, I would just like to say: believe in yourself, in your dreams, always give your best, trust yourself, everything is possible.”
As per FIFA.com, the award is given to the most outstanding goalkeeper in men’s football.
‘The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper Award is given to the most outstanding goalkeeper in men’s football as voted for by an international jury comprising the current coaches of all men’s national teams (one per team), current captains of all men’s national teams (one per team), one specialist journalist from each territory represented by a national team and fans registered on FIFA.com’
The Senegal international beat off competition from Gianluigi Donnarumma of PSG and Italy as well as Germany & Bayern Munich keeper Manuel Neuer.
Alisson Becker and Kasper Schmeichel missed out on the top three as Mendy lifted the trophy.
Mendy capped off a wonderful year by lifting the UEFA Champions League in his first season with the club and is a well deserved winner of the award.
He will be looking to add the Africa Cup of Nations to his collection with Senegal this month before returning to compete in the Club World Cup with Chelsea in February.
FIFA also revealed ‘The Best’ XI for 2021 at their recent award ceremony, with the team boasting a strange four attacker formation.
The final line-up has drawn controversy over it’s strange formation and decision to omit Premier League stars Edouard Mendy and Mohamed Salah.
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Erling Haaland were all included in FIFA’s strange team which boasted a 3-3-4 formation.
However there was no space for Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy or Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah, despite both players being nominated for other awards.
In Mendy’s case, the Senegalese shot-stopper actually won the FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year award but was still omitted in ‘The Best’ XI. PSG’s Gianluigi Donnarumma instead took the goalkeeper position.
Men’S FIFPRO world XI
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Defenders: David Alaba, Leonardo Bonucci, Ruben Dias.
Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi.
Women’s FIFPRO world XI
Goalkeeper: Christiane Endler.
Defenders: Lucy Bronze, Millie Bright, Magdalena Eriksson, Wendie Renard.
Midfielders: Estefania Banini, Barbara Bonansea, Carli Lloyd.
Forwards: Marta, Vivianne Miedema, Alex Morgan.