Ferland Mendy has emerged into one of Zinedine Zidane’s most reliable players, but he was quite anxious about joining Real Madrid.
A few eyebrows were raised when Real Madrid splashed around €50 million to lure Ferland Mendy away from Olympique Lyon in the summer of 2019.
The Frenchman had forged his reputation as one of Ligue 1’s best full-backs prior to his arrival at the Spanish capital, having been named in the league’s team of the year in 18/19 as well as 17/28. But he was still relatively unknown in Europe and still had a lot to prove, which is why he was considered overpriced.
It did not take too long, however, before his critics were silenced as the 25-year old became an integral part of Zinedine Zidane’s team.
Defensively astute and skilled going forward, he played a crucial role in his side’s La Liga title-winning campaign as he went on to make a total of 32 appearances in his debut season.
“When I signed with Real Madrid, I was very afraid of my move,” Mendy told Telefoot.
“It is very difficult to get here, but I adapted quickly and it seems that, in the end, it has turned out well. Zidane wanting you on his team is flattering, he is class.”
Mendy’s balance in attack and defense has helped him establish Real Madrid’s no.1 left-back ahead of Marcelo – who has been a long-term servant of the team – but this does not mean there are any hard feelings between them.
“I don’t think I have taken Marcelo’s position,” he added. “We have a good relationship and he has given me good advice so far.”