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‘You never say never’ – Mensah not ruling out return to Europe

The 30-year-old defender welcomes a move to Europe, albeit, insists his focus remains on matters at the Mapfre Stadium

Columbus Crew star Jonathan Mensah has left the door open for a potential move to a European team in the future.

The Ghana international led Caleb Porter’s Black and Gold to win the Major League Soccer (MLS) title for the first time having defeated Seattle Sounders 3-0 in the finals thanks to a brace from Lucas Zelarayan and a third from Derrick Etienne.

Having featured for Udinese, Granada, Evian and Anzhi Makhachkala between 2010-2016, Mensah joined the Crew in 2017 as the fifth Designated Player in club history and has gone on to make over 100 appearances for the side.

His contract expires at the end of the 2020 and, should Porter’s side choose not to renew his terms, the 30-year-old may be forced to head for Europe.

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“You never say never. What would get your name out there is to keep putting in solid performances week in, week out for your team and doors will open,” Mensah told BBC Sport Africa.

“This league has attracted big superstars, the likes of David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane, Wayne Rooney and recently Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“People keep saying this is a retirement league but we’ve seen it’s the complete opposite. We saw Zlatan came here at age 35 and scored lots of great goals.

“He gave the fans something to shout about with great games, he went back to Europe and is still scoring at the top level like he never left. That tells you how great this league has been and it can only get better from here.”

The 2009 U20 World Cup winner also revelled in his team’s triumph over Timbers in a year flawed by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

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“It’s such an incredible achievement for the team because we’ve been through so much as a club, city and everyone connected to Columbus,” he continued.

“The community and everyone behind the Save the Crew movement made it all happen, we the players and staff are just the vehicle that delivered it.

“Their determination, resilience and undying desire gave us the strength and determination to accomplish this mission, because this is pretty special.

“When you look at life in the past three years, what they’ve done off the field and how this year has been for all, this trophy is our little contribution to say ‘thank you’ for everything.”

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