Edouard Mendy's heartwarming reunion with Chelsea squad after AFCON win

Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was given a true hero’s welcome by his teammates after his victorious Africa Cup of Nations campaign.

Chelsea have been without their number one shot-stopper since the beginning of January after the goalkeeper travelled to Cameroon to represent his nation at the AFCON tournament.

Despite being 29 years old, the competition was the first time Mendy has played a full tournament for Senegal after he was forced to withdraw because of an injury during the 2019 AFCON.

But the Chelsea keeper proved his worth as Senegal won the competition for the first time in their history, beating seven-time competition winners Egypt in the final.

Senegal were pushed all the way by Egypt but were ultimately victorious after a penalty shootout in which the Chelsea keeper saved Mohanad Lasheen’s effort from the spot.

Mendy was subsequently voted as the Goalkeeper of the Tournament, while his national teammate Sadio Mane picked up AFCON’s Player of the Tournament award. Mendy can add the trophy to his growing list of individual honours after also claiming the Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper award recently.

But the 29-year-old showed his humility after picking up the award, claiming that Egypt goalkeeper Gabaski deserved to win. Mendy, per The Sun, said: “Gabaski is the best goalkeeper of the tournament, honestly.
“I spoke to him and I told him he deserves it [to win goalkeeper of the tournament]. And I was really impressed by his tournament.”

Mendy has endeared himself to the Stamford Bridge faithful after his stellar performances helped the London side to Champions League victory last year. But it seems he has also found a special place in the hearts of his Chelsea teammates.

Chelsea released a video on the club’s official Twitter account showing the Senegal international’s reunion with Thomas Tuchel’s side.

A huge round of applause can be heard throughout the clip as Mendy greets his teammates, each of them waiting for the opportunity to hug and congratulate the shot-stopper.

Mendy can be seen lifting Italian international Jorginho off the ground as they embrace, before the midfielder jokingly begins chanting “Speech, speech, speech!” at the keeper.

Chelsea defender and German international Antonio Rudiger can also be seen pretending to bow down to the Senegalese before the pair share a hug.

The video shows the strength of the bond the Chelsea side has developed since Mendy signed for the Blues in September 2020. Head coach Tuchel has previously discussed how special moments shared between the group have helped his side form a strong bond with each other, and clips like this prove that the German is right.

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The large amount of social media work done by clubs in recent years has allowed fans to feel more involved in these special moments and gain an insight into what goes on behind the scenes.

Beautiful moments like this are a joy to watch for fans and the Stamford Bridge faithful must be glad they were able to witness such a heartwarming occasion.

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