How Chelsea’s new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy made international debut for Guinea Bissau before switching to Senegal
Chelsea’s new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is a Senegalese international but he could as well have been turning out for the Djurtus of Guinea Bissau, the Teranga Lions’ less illustrious neighbours to the South according to the BBC.
Mendy was Senegal’s first-choice goalkeeper at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations until an injury ended his tournament but his route to playing for the 2019 AFCON runners-up was unconventional – as he actually made his international debut for Guinea-Bissau, where he also has family.
During his first season at French side Reims, he was called-up by Guinea-Bissau but it wasn’t a FIFA fixture so he went there knowing that he still had the option to join Senegal later.
When the coach of Senegal heard about it, he realised it wouldn’t be a good idea to lose him so Mendy earned his first cap for the Lions in November 2018 and soon established himself as their first-choice keeper.
He was part of the Teranga Lions squad for the 2019 Nations Cup in Egypt and played in their opening two games before a hand injury ruled him out of the rest of the tournament, which saw Senegal reach the final.
Now with his move to Chelsea, his path to play in the big leagues is paved clean and with it is the assurance of retaining his position as Senegals’ number one.