In video report broadcast by Moroccan sports TV channel Arryadia called “The Road to Russia,” Mendyl demonstrated the ability to defend the Atlas Lions against his father’s team, the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire.
The reportage shows the 20 year old talking to his Moroccan grandmother in a video conversation. The Moroccan of Ivorian descent expresses with a wide smile his happiness with representing the Moroccan team.
The channel also captures the moment when Mendyl tells his grandmother about how excited he is for Saturday’s game.
“We only need a 1-1 draw to win the game. But, we will beat them there,” says Mendyl. His grandmother wishes the Moroccan football team a good luck for their World Cup qualifier against the opponent. “May God helps you in your decisive match,”she says.
The reportage also follows Arryadia’s reporter as he travels to Abidjan, where Mendyl’s Ivorian brother, cousins, and grandmother live. Asked if he is going to support Morocco or Ivory Coast, Mendyl’s half-sibling says that he will support his country’s team, but he will also be happy for his brother if the Moroccan team wins.
Choosing the Moroccan team has not affected bonds between Mendyl and his father. In the reportage, the footballer’s father says that although his son chooses to represent his mother’s team, “I will be always behind him and support him.”
The footballer said earlier this year that his father “would have liked me to play for Ivory Coast, but he respects my choice,” reported French sports outlet, France Football.
The youngster explained his choice by saying that he was born and raised in Morocco. “For me, it was always clear in my head, I wanted to play and defend my Moroccan jersey,” he added.
Born in Casablanca, Mendyl has made his senior debut for the Moroccan national team in a 2-0 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier win over Sao Tome. He has also represented Morocco’s under-19 and 20 teams. The footballer plays currently as a left-back for French Ligue 1 side, Lille.