Best of Africa

‘There’s an agenda against him’ – African surprise as Mendy misses out on prize

16:25 EAT 30/11/2021
Edouard Mendy Chelsea 2021-22
The Chelsea stopper was overlooked for the Yashin Trophy despite his remarkable year

Gianluigi Donnarumma won the Yashin Trophy, awarded to the world’s best goalkeeper, on Monday, prompting elements of African football fans to claim Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was robbed.

Mendy has been outstanding under Thomas Tuchel since arriving at Stamford Bridge, and played a starring role as the Blues won last season’s Champions League.

He has also helped them to the top of the Premier League this season with only five goals conceded so far.

Ahead of the Ballon d’Or 2021, a host of fans on the continent were eager to see the Chelsea man claim the Yashin Trophy as recognition for his exploits.

Mendy has arguably been the most consistent goalkeeper in 2021 leaving fans questioning why Paris Saint-Germain star Donnarumma picked up the award instead.

Ranked at number 10 in the overall Ballon d’Or ranking, the Paris Saint-Germain star was an undeserving winner in the eyes of many, despite playing a major role in Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph as well as being named the Player of the Tournament.

GOAL’s Kolade Daniel examines the immediate reactions from fans after Monday’s event, with the Yashin Trophy sparking much debate.

Was Mendy robbed of an award?

A Nigerian Chelsea fan backed his own player but admitted he predicted the final outcome of the award.

“Donnarumma wins the 2021 best goalkeeper. Mendy robbed but won't say I'm surprised.” @Blue-Footy said.

There are claims of a supposed under-recognition for African stars, and another fan explained his take on the matter.

@Kilejun__o said: “Donnarumma given the Yashin Trophy? I really feel Fifa and every other football body have agendas against Edouard Mendy. Is it because it was his first season or because he's African? Really gutted about the awards given so far!!!”

@__Sharyf also accused voters of prejudicing Mendy.

“Mendy lost the award to Donnarumma not based on merit but skin colour,” he wrote. “This is daylight robbery!”

However, a Ghanaian Manchester United fan agreed with Donnarumma as the legitimate winner of the award.

@iLatif_ posted: “Mendy doesn’t make any top saves in matches because Chelsea play with 7 defensive minded players. How can he win this over Donnarumma? Well deserved!!!”

“PSG's Donnarumma is the goalkeeper of the year. I guess Edouard Mendy already knew...,” said Nigerian fan @iamMightyGeorge.

Donnarumma becomes only the second goalkeeper to win the trophy, after Liverpool’s Alisson Becker won the inaugural edition of the award.

Join the conversation below and share your thoughts on Mendy controversially missing out on the Yashin Trophy, should the Chelsea man have clinched the prize ahead of his PSG rival?

by Kolade Daniel