There are plenty of footballers around who find it hard to convince critics and fans, but remains integral in the eyes of their coaches. That’s exactly Ferland Mendy‘s case at Real Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti.
The Italian sees the full-back as a safe pair of hands at left-back, knowing that he brings balance to the Los Blancos team.
In the UEFA Super Cup final, Eintracht Frankfurt‘s best chance came straight from a mistake made by Mendy, but Thibaut Courtois came to the rescue.
Ancelotti‘s reaction wasn’t aimed at Mendy, but Vinicius Junior instead, with the Italian focusing on the Brazilian’s defensive efforts throughout the game.
“Our left-back is Mendy,” Ancelotti said clearly during the pre-season tour of the United States, removing any doubt around his position in the team as Antonio Rudiger‘s signing appeared to signal a shift to left-back for David Alaba.
Although some teams seem to target Mendy on Real Madrid‘s left, it’s clear that he contributes a lot to the team. Los Blancos’ record is better when he’s on the pitch than when he’s not.
Since joining Real Madrid, Mendy has been overcoming the challenges put in front of him.
At first, he took Marcelo‘s place in the XI and kept the Brazilian out of the team, eventually seeing him off. Then came Miguel Gutierrez to challenge for the position, but he’s now at Girona because Mendy dug deep and held on.
Now, Rudiger‘s arrival meant that Alaba was another rival for the position, but Ancelotti has complete faith in his left-back, and is happy to continue with things as they have been because he knows how much Mendy brings to the team.