Liga

Ferland Mendy: From wheelchair to La Liga champion- Inspiring story

French defender Ferland Mendy has entered the books as one of Real Madrid’s key players who drove through all odds to becoming the winners of Spain’s most celebrated league honour, La Liga in 2020. An inspiring journey that has more to it.

Mendy[ Ferland] now aged 23 today stands as one of the greatest inspiration to young players in modern times most especially to youths in Africa, the continent he originates from and more so by his hard-courageous journey to the top where he now plays for the club considered as the most successful of the last decade[2009-2019].

The right back who owes his origin to Senegal and Guinea Conakry where his father and mother came from respectively, was born in a small community in North Central France known as Meulin-en-Yveline on June 8, 1995 and reportedly lost his father at a teenage age. But the ever determined and die-heart football fan did not saw his dream of becoming a footballer like is icon Brazil’s Ronaldinho.

The lad joined a local club Equevilly in 2002 and showcased his talent with the outfit till the year 2002 when he was spotted and transferred to Paris Saint Germain Academy. This, due to his excellent performance. He trained at and represented for club for 8 years before a health complication grounded him.

Ferland Mendy suffered medical complications including swelling hip joint, overall weakness and general overdose of fatigue. A situation which put the youngster under treatment for more than a year and saw him staying on a wheelchair for 6 months. While on wheelchair, the Franco-Senegalese was told by his Doctor that he may not be able to work again.

But fortunately for the 14-year-old, his medical complications reduced and gave way the chance not only to walk but to join a 4th division club, Mantois 78 in France where he hoped to get himself fit for football again. There, Ferland was transformed from striker to left back but kept the fire burning.

Excellent performance with Mantois led to French Ligue 2 outfit, Le Hauvre signing the promising star in 2012. A club he featured for in 47 occasions and scoring once. His speedy offensive playing style attractive a 5 Million US Dollar deal from Ligue 1 club O. Lyon which he joined in 2013.

Mendy played 57 matches for the club and now holds a record 102 successful dribbles in two Ligue 1 seasons, the best by any player. This combined with his strength and speed saw him moving to Spanish giants, Real Madrid on July 1, 2019 where he won the 2019/2020 La Liga title with the Spain capital city under manager Zinedine Zidane. A record 34th for Real Madrid.

He played 25 La Liga matches for the club this season and netted once. Ferland Mendy’s successful pairing with the likes of Sergio Ramos, Varane and Marcelo at the club is considered to have played a great role in the team’s success this season as they recorded over 16 clean sheets.

Mendy and Real are still in contention of the 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League title where they will face Manchester City at the quarter finals with the lad looking forward to win his first UCL title and continue representing France. A country he has played four senior matches for and is battling for the left back position with his name sake, Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy.

DEWAH Fabrice TEH

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