Edouard Mendy is the next player to share his memories of watching the World Cup growing up, including the tournament which inspired him to become a goalkeeper...

The Chelsea goalkeeper is in Qatar competing in his first World Cup with Senegal and recalls witnessing the celebrations of two World Cup triumphs for France first hand, as well as Senegal's shock victory over reigning champions Les Bleus. He reveals which goalkeeper's World Cup performances convinced him to take up the gloves himself...

First World Cup you remember?

'I remember 1998 because I was in France, the World Cup was in France, and obviously France won the World Cup. So everybody was going crazy in the streets.

'It was the first time I’d seen something like that and it was because of football, so I could see how powerful football is and how it can make people happy. So that was my first memory and impression of the World Cup.'

What are your memories of watching growing up?

'I was watching the games at home with my family and some friends. Everybody would be in front of the TV waiting for the games and it is a good memory I have of spending time with my family.'

Where did you watch the last World Cup?

'I was in France with my club Rennes preparing for the next season. We had a training camp for pre-season, so we were together and watched the World Cup as a team. We were away, not in our city, but in another part of France, so I remember the people going crazy again when France won.

'But it was different for me because I was happy for them, because I knew some of the France players. So I was happy for them and I wanted to have the same feeling as they had in 2018 one day, and now I have the privilege to play in a World Cup myself.'

Favourite World Cup moment?

'After my first memory of the World Cup in 1998, of course the next one was 2002. That was my second World Cup so I was a bit older, I was 10 years old, so I understood a bit more about football and things.

'France played against Senegal in the first game of the tournament, so my two countries playing against each other, and Senegal won 1-0. It was crazy in the street because in France you have a lot of people originally from Senegal. So it was a crazy situation because we were very happy, celebrating for Senegal, and next to us we could see the people who were not happy, supporting France.

'It was the beginning of one of the biggest successes for Senegal in our football history, because we reached the quarter-finals. It was something amazing because it was the first World Cup my country had played in.

'After that World Cup I said “yes, I want to play at a World Cup” because it was amazing. The people were so happy, they were so proud.'

Favourite World Cup song?

'I don't really know World Cup songs. I can just remember the “Waka Waka” by Shakira from 2010 in South Africa. I remember that song, but that’s the only one I can think of.'

Favourite World Cup goal?

'It's from one of the games I remember in 2002, Senegal against Sweden in the last 16. It was when Senegal won against the Sweden team with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Larsson, it was a top team.

'We won that game and I remember the goals. It was a really good game with a big intensity and a lot of quality on the pitch. I remember Henri Camara scored twice and the second was a golden goal to win it in extra time, which went in off the post. It was a great moment to put Senegal in the quarter-finals in our first World Cup.'

Best player you’ve seen at a World Cup?

I think it was Tony Sylva for Senegal in 2002, he was one of the best goalkeepers in the competition. I think he gave me the inspiration to be a goalkeeper myself. After that World Cup I wanted to be a goalkeeper.

'Before I wasn’t sure because I used to play on pitch with my friends, but I also went in goal because I was good and I was the tallest. But after that World Cup and watching Tony in the goal I wanted to be like him. He was massive for the team and he had a big impact on the results. So after the World Cup I wanted to be a goalkeeper because of him.

'A lot of people didn't know about him before 2002. Even me, before the World Cup, I knew Senegal had a good goalkeeper but I didn’t really know him. But after the World Cup I think everybody knew who Tony Sylva was.'

Favourite World Cup kit?

'Nigeria! Every time they have the best kit. Every time! In terms of colour, in terms of motif, they are the best. The green and white stripes, and even the away kit, white and green, they are top. Honestly, they have the most beautiful shirts I have seen in football.'

Stadium you’d like to play a World Cup final in?

'In the Stade du Senegal, our new stadium in Dakar. We have a new stadium and we started there with a win against Egypt in our first game there, in the play-off for World Cup qualification, which we won in a penalty shoot-out.

'It was an amazing atmosphere and the fans were unbelievable. It was like we had 12 players on the pitch, in this stadium we can feel the support and it’s really hard for the opponent to play against us at home. So I would play it in our stadium.'

And finally, who are the other teams to look out for?

'I think there are a lot of teams with top quality. England first, because they play well and they had a good Euros playing at home. They were very close to winning their first trophy for a while. So England, even if they have many injuries. They are unlucky, like Chelsea, losing Reece and Chilly.

'And Brazil I think are very mature, they have a good mix between top players and young talent, so I would say Brazil, I would say England and I would say Cameroon.

'I think Cameroon can do well, they have a strong team. They were unlucky during the Africa Cup of Nations because they lost in the semi-finals in a penalty shoot-out. They played a good tournament. I think also they are mature, so Cameroon will be a team to watch too.'