Foot Mondial – From racism to the Ballon d’Or, Kalidou Koulibaly launches the controversy

At the start of the week, the list of 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or was unveiled and like every year, it has its share of surprises.

The supporters of Senegal and Chelsea, for example, were surprised to note the absence of Edouard Mendy. Author of a phenomenal season with the Blues, the former Stade Rennais goalkeeper largely contributed to his team’s final victory in the Champions League. He is not, however, in the list of the 30 finalists for the Ballon d’Or 2021. A real anomaly according to Kalidou Koulibaly, who mentioned the absence of his Senegalese compatriot after the success of his national team against Namibia in the qualifiers for the World Cup.

“We must not forget that it is journalists who vote. One journalist per country. I think there are some countries that favor other players. Now, it’s a shame that Edu (Mendy) isn’t one of them. He is the first African goalkeeper to have won the Champions League. We must continue to work and move forward. We have to double some people to be properly judged. Edu is a very positive person. We talked about it together. He will continue to fight to be a part of it. But for me, he has ample place among these thirty players ” explained Kalidou Koulibaly, who would certainly have placed Edouard Mendy in the finalists instead of Gerard Moreno, Luis Suarez or Raheem Sterling, whose presence questioned some observers.

Koulibaly in favor of World Cup reform

The captain of Senegal, rock of Naples for many years, also took advantage of the microphones held out to him to discuss another hot issue of the moment. This is the World Cup reform project led by FIFA and more specifically Arsène Wenger, who would like the World Cup to take place every two years. Some important football players like Didier Deschamps have already made it known that they are against it. This is not the case for Kalidou Koulibaly for the moment. “By having a World Cup every two years, it will take away some friendly matches. To see what the plan would be, but that can be something good compared to the number of African teams which will be able to play the World Cup because five qualified teams, it is too little for Africa ”juge the defender of Naples, who believes that this reform project could give way to more African teams in the long term.

Regarding his future, Kalidou Koulibaly, however, has not slipped the slightest hint. At the end of his contract with Naples in June 2023, the native of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges was regularly associated with Paris Saint-Germain. But the club in the French capital is not the only one interested in the profile of Kalidou Koulibaly. In recent hours, the captain of Naples has for example been associated with Newcastle, very recently bought by Saudi Arabia. In this position, the British club is also tracking Boubacar Kamara, at the end of his contract with Olympique de Marseille. But to this day, Newcastle’s priority is called Wesley Fofana. Currently injured since his fibula fracture last summer, the central defender trained at AS Saint-Etienne is in contact with Newcastle, according to RMC. It now remains to be seen if a deal will be reached as Leicester are of course keen on retaining their player. In the event that the Wesley Fofana track becomes complicated, there is no doubt that Newcastle could turn to Koulibaly, whose adaptation to a physical championship like the Premier League is not in the slightest doubt.

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