Chelsea star Edouard Mendy has claimed that Egypt’s Abou Gabal ‘Gabaski’ should have been named the Africa Cup of Nations’ goalkeeper of the tournament.
The Senegalese stopper is still celebrating after he helped his nation to lift the prize for the first time in their history by beating The Pharaohs on penalties.
Despite missing the opening two games of the competition due to Covid, he went on to keep three clean sheets out of five and only conceded twice.
Meanwhile, Gabaski featured in four games, conceding once, as he produced some epic performances en route to the final.
The Zamalek man saved eight of the penalties he faced at AFCON – leading to many insisting it should have been him instead of Mendy that scooped the goalkeeper of the tournament prize.
And after being handed the award, Chelsea ace Mendy also agrees with that assessment.
He said: “Gabaski is the best goalkeeper of the tournament, honestly.
“I spoke to him and I told him he deserves it [to win goalkeeper of the tournament]. And I was really impressed by his tournament.”
Gabaski did earn the man of the match after making eight saves in 120 minutes of action in the final.
The Egyptian had notes about all of Senegal’s penalty takers on his water bottle… but could not save his side from losing the shootout.
The shot-stopper had already helped his side win shootouts against Ivory Coast in the last 16 and Cameroon in the semi-finals.
And he was well prepared for the final, arriving with notes on his water bottle of where each Senegal player had placed their previous penalties.
The bottle, which had small images of where each player liked to put their spot kicks, was strategically placed under Gabaski’s towel.
He consulted it before facing each penalty – but could only save one as Egypt were beaten 4-3 in the shootout.
Senegal keeper Mendy also only saved one but Egypt star Mohamed Abdelmonem failed to convert for the seven-time winners as he struck the inside of the post.
Liverpool star Sadio Mane stepped up to convert the winning penalty for Senegal – despite having been thwarted from the spot by Gabaski earlier on in the match. – The Sun