The 30 year old center back was speaking ahead of Senegal's FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Namibia. Koulibaly stated his disappointment when the list was released without Mendy's name in it, even though he was the first African goalkeeper to win the UEFA Champions League. He claimed that African players have to do "double the work" to get the recognition which other players get for lesser effort.
In his own words, Koulibaly said: "It's a shame that Edou (Mendy) isn't shortlisted for Ballon d'or. He's the first African goalkeeper to win the Champions League. We (Africans) have to do the double the work of some people to be well judged.
When you come to think of it, there is a lot of truth in Kalidou Koulibaly's comments. Edouard Mendy's exclusion from the Balon D'or shortlist was unfair after all his crucial contributions to Chelsea's recent trail of success. The 29 year old shot stopper immediately established himself as a starter for the Blues following his transfer from Stade Rennes.
Mendy played a key role in Chelsea's run to Champions League glory last season as he kept 9 clean sheets across the tournament to lead them to their second triumph in history. He also kept 16 clean sheets in his maiden Premier League campaign to help Chelsea to a top four finish, while he also started in goal for the UEFA Super Cup triumph over Villarreal at the start of the season.
Like Koulibaly rightly pointed out, Mendy is the first ever goalkeeper from Africa to win the Champions League but unfortunately, all these efforts were not enough to convince the organizers of the Balon D'or award. Even after all his achievements and the 2 european trophies he lifted with Chelsea, Mendy was snubbed for the award from a shortlist that rather includes Gianluigi Donnarumma who kept just three clean sheets in seven matches for Italy at EURO 2020.
Mendy did everything right to at least earn a spot in the Balon D'or shortlist and his snub is a hint of the bias towards African players which Koulibaly was complaining about.
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