AFCON 2021: Okocha reveals why CAF overlooked Egypt’s Gabaski, handed Mendy best goalkeeper award
Nigerian legend, Austine Jay-Jay Okocha, has revealed why Chelsea goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy was named the best goalie in the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
The Senegal goalkeeper, who was recently named the world best goalkeeper by the football governing body, FIFA, was also recognised by CAF at the end of the tournament on Sunday.
Many pundits and sports lovers questioned CAF decision to give the award to Mendy instead of Egypt’s Gabaski.
But Okocha, an African legend and winner of the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations, believes that the Chelsea goalie deserves the award.
Speaking on Supersports, the former PSG star said, “Ever since he signed for Chelsea, it’s like his potential just came out and we knew very little of him before now.
“Of course, it shows that when you are competing in a good league you keep improving. He’s shown us in this competition that it’s not a fluke that he’s the best goalkeeper in the world.
“I think that award must have been given to him because of the number of clean sheets he kept in this tournament. He kept five clean sheets in this tournament.
“He’s a championship winner for you if you don’t concede goals you give yourself the possibility of winning matches.
“And when it matters the most he saved that penalty to give his nation the opportunity to score the winner. For me, yes we’ve seen a lot of good goalkeepers in the tournament but deservingly, he’s the keeper of the tournament.”