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‘Real shame’ – Kalidou Koulibaly upset Senegal and Chelsea star Edouard Mendy missed out on Ballon d’Or shortlist


Chelsea star Edouard Mendy should have been in contention for the Ballon d’Or, according to Kalidou Koulibaly (Picture: Getty)

Kalidou Koulibaly says it’s a ‘real shame’ Senegal and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy wasn’t among the candidates for this year’s Ballon d’Or award.

Chelsea were heavily represented as the 30-man shortlist for the prestigious prize was revealed last week, with Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Cesar Azpilicueta and Romelu Lukaku all in the running.

Mendy did not make the cut despite playing a key role in the Blues’ Champions League success last season following his £22million move from Rennes the previous summer.

Lev Yashin remains the only ’keeper to have won the Ballon d’Or after he triumphed way back in 1963 and PSG’s Gianluigi Donnarumma is the one shot-stopper in contention to succeed Lionel Messi ahead of next month’s ceremony in Paris.

‘It’s a real shame that Edou isn’t one of them. He is the first African goalkeeper to win the Champions League,’ Koulibaly said following Senegal’s 4-1 victory over Namibia in World Cup qualifying.

‘We must continue to work and move forward. We have to do the double [the work] of some people to be well judged.

‘Edou is a very positive person. We talked about it together. He will continue to fight to be part of it.

‘For me, he has a place among these 30 players.’

Mendy helped Chelsea lift the Champions League trophy last term (Picture: Getty)

Speaking at Gazzetta dello Sport’s annual Festivo Dello Sport at the weekend, Thomas Tuchel played down the significance of individual awards in football.

However, the German argued Jorginho would be a deserving winner after his success at both club and international level with Chelsea and Italy.

‘He deserves it, he is one of those who deserve to win the Ballon d’Or,’ the Chelsea head coach said.

‘He is a very intelligent player and it’s a pleasure to be his coach. The list of 30 candidates came out yesterday, but for me this list is not important as I do not judge them in that sense.

‘These awards don’t make much sense to me. Obviously, the players crave these awards, but it is impossible to make a real comparison between all these players.’

Tuchel added: ‘Who should say who is the best? Everyone deserves to win it from a certain point of view.

‘Obviously I would like someone from Chelsea to win it as it would increase confidence.

‘But it is not the most important thing in the world of football.’


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