Chelsea legend Petr Cech has backed goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to guide Senegal to their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations title in Cameroon.
The Lions of Teranga reached the quarter-finals of the competition after beating Cape Verde 2-0 in the Round of 16 with Liverpool forward Sadio Mane and Bamba Dieng of Ligue 1 club Marseille notching the goals at Stade Omnisports de Bafoussam.
Writing in his weekly column, Cech suggested the 29-year-old custodian, who recently won the Fifa Best goalkeeper award, will win more trophies this year among them the Afcon title as Senegal are among the favourites.
“Edou was named The Best goalkeeper by Fifa and it’s another great achievement for him,” Cech wrote on Chelsea's official website.
“He is the first African goalkeeper to win the award, which is amazing, and testament to how well he has done since he came to our club.
“He had an incredible year, winning two trophies, and it reflects his hard work and attitude. It’s great to see him getting recognition and our other players who made it to the Team of the Year.
”The best thing is Edou can now add more trophies this year. He is at the Africa Cup of Nations now, Senegal are one of the favourites, so he could even win this trophy before he returns to us.
“And then we have the Club World Cup and the Carabao Cup final to look forward to in a few weeks. Hopefully, for him, he will be on the right end of three more trophies.”
Mendy missed the opening two Group B matches for Senegal – 1-0 win against Zimbabwe and 0-0 draw against Guinea –after testing positive for Covid-19.
He, however, recovered in time to face Malawi where he managed to keep a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw and was in goal when they beat the Blue Sharks 2-0 to advance to the last eight.
The Lions of Teranga are making their 16th appearance at the Afcon finals, and it’s a record for a team that has never won the trophy.
The closest they came to winning the tournament was in 2002 when they lost the final on penalties against Cameroon and in 2019 when they lost 1-0 to Algeria in another final.
Senegal will face Equatorial Guinea in the quarters at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium on Sunday.