Didier Deschamps‘ call to Ferland Mendy in November caught the Lyon ace off guard. He hadn’t expected to represent his country as he had never even done it at underage level and when injury hit him at age 15, he was on the verge of quitting football.
But the call was real, and Mendy was to become a France international.
“When I woke up I saw that I had missed four or five calls from the club,” Mendy explains.
“I thought: what have I done? I’ve missed training…”
But it wasn’t the case, the left-back had just been selected by Deschamps in his November squad for the internationals against the Netherlands and Uruguay.
Mendy doesn’t believe in miracles, but for doctors to get him through his hip arthritis was an incredible achievement, back when he was in Paris Saint-Germain‘s academy.
“I spent three months in a cast and then went to Bullion for six more months,” he explained after signing for Lyon.
“The cast was removed and I was in a wheelchair, then a walker; I had to learn to walk slowly.”
Tireless and determined, he persevered and even had to learn how to play football again.
PSG freed him up and he spent time in the fourth tier with FC Mantois before joining Le Havre in 2013. In 2017 he moved to Lyon, and now Real Madrid are knocking on his door.
It’s no miracle, either. It shows his commendable mentality that has made Zinedine Zidane so keen on him.