MADRID – Real Madrid reinforced its defensive lineup with the inclusion of France left-back Ferland Mendy who was presented to fans at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Wednesday.
The 24-years-old from Ecquevilly, to the northeast of Paris, has been described in some sports media as the Mbappe of left-backs.
“Good afternoon, it’s an honor to be in this club, the biggest club in the world,” Mendy told the club.
Before posing for photos kitted out in the white Madrid jersey, Mendy
joined President Florentino Perez in the club’s board room to sign a six-year contract.
As usual with presentations at the Spanish side, proceedings got underway with the screening of a video featuring some of the best on-field moments of the French international.
“Welcome to Santiago Bernabeu stadium, we are living exciting days in the construction of a new era aimed at achieving the dreams of our fans,” said Perez. “This club is always eager to improve, which is what we are doing, despite the complexity of the market, we are incorporating great players,” Perez said, adding that the club was welcoming “the best left-back of the French league over the last two seasons, a man who knows what it is to overcome adversity.”
Perez described how Mendy had overcome serious injury to return to top-level soccer.
“Your talent and your will to fight has brought you here. You are a great example of what it means to never surrender and overcome obstacles.”
He added that Mendy had “come to Madrid from a club we have great relations with, a great club like Olympique Lyonnais.”
Mendy expressed his thanks to Perez and gave fans a thrill by using the now usual salute, “Hala Madrid.”
Earlier in the day, the ex-Lyon player went through the obligatory medical examinations at the Sanitas La Moraleja University hospital.
The player started his career as a striker before moving to defense.
Asked about his competition for the left-back position, Marcelo, the squad’s second captain, Mendy said, “it will be the coach who decides who plays in the starting 11, we will see that throughout the season.”
When asked about the severe hip injury he suffered when he was young, he said, “I was 15 at the time, they told me I was not going to able to play football again. I spent seven months at the hospital in rehabilitation in order to walk again,” he added. “Now I am a Real Madrid player, it’s amazing.”
He said he was prepared to play as many minutes as possible and win lots of trophies.
“I am sure that the way in which football is played here will enhance my way of playing,” he added.