Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has lauded the impact that Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have on young people in Africa with their successful football careers.
Salah and Mane have become global superstars due to their goalscoring exploits for Jurgen Klopp’s men and Mendy feels they are true examples and role models to African youth as they give them hope and desire to achieve their goals.
“When you see African players, people like Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who really play at the highest possible level, then we talk about the best world players not just the best African players and I think this is what we need to focus on,” said Mendy, while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“They are true examples, role models and give hope to young people, making them desire to work and exceed the limits to achieve one goal. This is how football has impacted on social level in all countries around the world."
Mendy was among key speakers on the topic, Sports as a Unifying Force, and was joined on the panel by Fifa president Gianni Infantino, his Caf counterpart Patrice Motsepe, former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, legendary Brazil striker Ronaldo and San Diego Wave FC boss Jill Ellis.
The Senegal stopper also shared how football has been a unifying factor not just in Africa but around the world.
“Football is a sport which brings together more people than at any given time than any other sport. It has the power to transmit and instill values in young people. They see us as an example, as role models,” added Mendy.
Mendy, voted the world’s top goalkeeper in 2020-21, has had a satisfactory season for club and country, helping Senegal to a maiden Africa Cup of Nations title in February where he was crowned the tournament’s best custodian.
He was also key in Chelsea winning the Uefa Super Cup at the start of the season as well as the Fifa Club World Cup in December, but further silverware eluded him after the Blues were beaten by Liverpool on post-match penalties in both the Carabao and FA Cup finals.
Mendy finished the season fourth in the Premier League Golden Glove race after keeping 14 clean sheets, one behind Tottenham Hotspur’s Hugo Lloris, with Manchester City’s Ederson and Liverpool’s Alisson sharing the award after managing 20 each.