Ferland Mendy leads the Champions League in an important statistic

Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images) /

In the modern game, it is, unfortunately, becoming increasingly easy for players focused on defending to be overlooked. Real Madrid left back Ferland Mendy and defensive midfielder Casemiro are two of the best players in the world at their respective positions, but they do not get enough recognition because they are elite defenders.

Mendy has some issues offensively, though he can occasionally score a brilliant goal, but he more than makes up for some of his loose touches and poor crosses by defending better than any other fullback in Europe’s top five.

What makes Mendy so good defensively is his one-on-one ability in the tackle, his intelligent reading of the game, and his work rate.

And it is that last aspect of his play that has been highlighted by one key statistic.

Via Zach Lowy of Breaking The Lines, Ferland Mendy leads all players in the 2020-2021 UEFA Champions League in total meters run. He has run a staggering 102,703 meters in the competition, meaning he and Phil Foden are the only two players cracking the 100k mark. Two more Madridistas make the list, with Toni Kroos in third and the now-injured Lucas Vazquez in ninth.

Ferland Mendy still doesn’t get enough credit

Real Madrid have a ton of players who work extremely hard in matches. I’m sure Casemiro and Luka Modric are somewhere in the picture as well.

But it’s interesting that Mendy is the one in first place, above everyone else in the competition. When you think about it, this statistic shouldn’t be a surprise at all. Watching Real Madrid, it’s clear that Mendy works harder than most and is always moving up and down the pitch to help offensively and carry out his defensive duties to near-perfection.

Yet Mendy does not get the same recognition for his work rate as other players, including some of his teammates and other fullbacks in Europe who do not show up on this list of nine provided by Lowy.

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It goes to show you that Mendy is immense for this club, but it also implies that he remains very underrated. Hopefully, as more statistics about Mendy float around, fans around the globe will start giving the French left back more praise for his contributions to his side.