Chelsea players applaud Afcon champion Edouard Mendy on arrival in Abu Dhabi

Senegal goalkeeper reunites with teammates days after helping his national team win the Africa Cup of Nations

Edouard Mendy, centre, celebrates Senegal's Africa Cup of Nations triumph with Sadio Mane and Bamba Dieng. AFP
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Edouard Mendy has arrived in Abu Dhabi to take part in Chelsea's Fifa Club World Cup campaign, and the goalkeeper was met with cheers and applause from his teammates after his instrumental role in Senegal's Africa Cup of Nations triumph.

Mendy, 29, was named goalkeeper of the tournament as Senegal ended their long wait for a first Afcon title by defeating Egypt 4-2 on penalties after Sunday's final in Cameroon ended goalless after extra time.

After celebrating Senegal's success and taking part in a trophy parade which attracted thousands of people in Dakar, Mendy made his way to the UAE to reunite with his club as they prepare to begin their Club World Cup mission against Asian champions Al Hilal on Wednesday evening.

In a clip posted to Chelsea's Twitter account, Mendy could be seen shaking hands and hugging his teammates as players and staff applauded their goalkeeper on his arrival.

Mendy, who seven years ago was without a club and registered for unemployment, is enjoying a remarkably successful spell since joining Chelsea at the start of last season. He has won the Uefa Champions League and reached two further finals with his club, and was named The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper for 2021.

Fresh from winning the Afcon title, Mendy will now aim to help Chelsea win the Club World Cup, with South American champions Palmeiras awaiting the the Blues in the final if they get past Al Hilal.

However, it remains unclear whether Mendy will start the game against Hilal so soon after arriving, with understudy Kepa Arrizabalaga excelling in his absence.

Updated: February 09, 2022, 9:10 AM
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