In a stunning comeback, former France defender Benjamin Mendy marked his long-awaited return to professional football after an arduous two-year hiatus. The 29-year-old left-back, who had previously dazzled fans with his skills at Manchester City, graced the pitch once more, donning the colors of French side Lorient. This remarkable event took place during Lorient’s recent clash with Monaco in the thrilling arena of Ligue 1.
Mendy’s journey to this triumphant moment had been fraught with adversity. His last appearance on the football field dates back to August 2021 when he was still in the ranks of Manchester City. Tragically, shortly after that game, he faced serious legal charges related to rape, which cast a long shadow over his career.
However, the clouds of uncertainty began to dissipate for Mendy as he was exonerated in July, signaling a turning point in his life and career. A subsequent trial in January cleared him of six counts of rape and one of sexual assault, providing a glimmer of hope for the talented defender.
Mendy’s association with Manchester City had come to an abrupt halt in August 2021 when the charges were first brought against him. The club suspended him, and when his contract expired in the summer, it marked the end of his tenure with the English giants. This chapter, which had begun with a sensational £52 million signing from Monaco in 2017, had reached its conclusion.
Lorient, with an astute move, welcomed Mendy into their fold by securing his services with a two-year contract in July. The timing couldn’t have been more poignant, coming just five days after the 2018 World Cup winner was found not guilty of the serious allegations that had tarnished his reputation.
The match against Monaco had its fair share of drama. Former Arsenal forward Folarin Balogun, making his presence felt, came off the bench for Monaco and swiftly scored his first goal for the club, giving them a 2-1 lead on the 68th-minute mark. However, Mendy, who had just made his entrance two minutes earlier, proved that he hadn’t lost his touch. He contributed to Lorient’s resurgence, and the game concluded in a thrilling 2-2 draw, with on-loan Bournemouth midfielder Romain Faivre securing the equalizer deep into stoppage time.
Benjamin Mendy’s return to professional football is not just a personal triumph but also a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. As he resumes his career with Lorient, football fans worldwide will be watching, hoping to witness the rekindling of his once-promising trajectory in the beautiful game.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Benjamin Mendy comeback
Q: Why did Benjamin Mendy take a two-year break from professional football?
A: Benjamin Mendy’s hiatus from professional football was due to serious legal charges related to rape, which led to his suspension from Manchester City in August 2021.
Q: When did Mendy make his return to professional football?
A: Mendy made his triumphant return to professional football during Lorient’s clash with Monaco in Ligue 1, ending his two-year absence from the sport.
Q: What were the legal developments in Mendy’s case?
A: Mendy was cleared of all charges in July and January, marking significant legal victories for him and allowing him to continue his football career.
Q: Why did Mendy leave Manchester City?
A: Mendy’s association with Manchester City ended when his contract expired in the summer. This followed his suspension by the club due to the legal charges he faced.
Q: How did Mendy perform in his comeback match?
A: Mendy made an impactful debut for Lorient, coming off the bench and contributing to their 2-2 draw with Monaco, including an equalizer deep into stoppage time.