Edouard Mendy was given an incredible reception from his Senegalese teammates as he reported for training for the first time since Chelsea’s Champions League victory.
The 29-year-old became the first-ever Senegalese goalkeeper – and just the second African shot-stopper – to win the Champions League or European Cup, doing so in very impressive fashion.
Mendy recorded a ninth clean sheet of the campaign against Manchester City as Chelsea secured a 1-0 victory, marking the most shut-outs by a goalkeeper in a single campaign.
In fact, Mendy only conceded three goals in 12 appearances in the Champions League – and two of those efforts actually made the shortlist for Goal of the Tournament.
After being given a few days off following the win in Portugal, Mendy flew to Senegal on Thursday ahead of his nation’s summer friendlies against Zambia and Cape Verde.
When he arrived at the team hotel he was given a very loud and rapturous welcome by the rest of the squad, who hugged and danced with the towering keeper and joined him in chanting ‘Campeones’.
Liverpool’s Sadio Mane looked happiest of all to see Mendy and even asked for a selfie with the goalkeeper, who was draped in a Senegal flag.
Speaking about the reception he received, Mendy told the Senegalese Football Federation’s website afterwards: ‘I feel great joy and was very proud of the welcome they gave me, along with all the hotel staff and the people who work here.
So I really want to thank them, it really touched me. I had imagined my return home after the victory and I did not expect that at all.’
Mendy is not the only Chelsea player to receive heart-warming congratulations upon reporting for international duty, with French trio N’Golo Kante, Kurt Zouma and Olivier Giroud getting similar treatment when they joined up with the French squad.
Chelsea’s England contingent probably won’t get the same response, however, given that four of the squad play for Manchester City and were on the losing team in Porto.