?Ferland Mendy has revealed that the chance to work with fellow Frenchman Zinedine Zidane was a core part of his decision to join Real Madrid over Barcelona last summer.
After rising to prominence with Lyon, the young left-back had plenty of sides in his ear in an attempt to convince him to join them. Barcelona were keen on bringing him in, but Mendy ultimately opted to join Real in a £47.1m deal.
With the two teams set to face off in El Clásico on Monday evening, Mendy spoke to ?Téléfoot about his decision to reject ?Barcelona, admitting that he barely even needed to think about opting for ?Real instead.
“It’s Real Madrid, quite simply. Zidane, too, that was a plus,” he confessed. “There was no need to convince me. We talked about it, but there was no need to do so at length.”
Ouch. You can guarantee that Barcelona won’t be happy to hear that they were quickly dismissed because Real were too appealing.
It was a decision which has certainly worked out for Mendy on a personal level. After an injury hit start to the campaign, he has established himself as Zidane’s first choice, and many fans see him as key to their chances of keeping a clean sheet in any given game.
However, despite all that praise, Mendy admitted that he does not feel as though he has done enough just yet.
“I wouldn’t say that I’ve imposed myself, there’s still a lot of pressure,” he said. “It’s really different with regards to Lyon. The level of expectation is very high.”
I’m sorry to break it to you, Mendy, but you definitely have imposed yourself. He’s the first-choice left-back at one of the biggest clubs in the world and plenty of fans see him as crucial, which certainly sounds like a job well done to me.
Speaking of high expectations, Monday’s game has been billed as the biggest game of the season. Barcelona sit top of ?La Liga, but they are only two points clear of Real in second, and many feel as though the title could be decided by this one game.
“It’s a match that’s very different,” Mendy added. “There’s a lot of impact, a lot of desire from both teams. In any case, El Clásico is a game that should be won. Yes, the title is at stake, but after there are still a lot of matches too.”
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