The big day of the match for Riyad Mahrez. Manchester City travel this evening to Paris to participate in the Champions League semi-finals. For the Algerian international player, this night may be the big night.
He certainly wouldn’t have dared dream of having such a profession a few years ago. When Vahid Halilodzic chose him for the 2014 World Cup, then just a mysterious winger in the English second division, many wondered about the true potential of this little Algerian, who has poor physical fitness and the ability to accelerate somewhat low.
What a long way to go since then for Riyad Mahrez. At 7 years old, someone who learned football in the Paris region through the love of the father of a former footballer near Tlemcen, saw everything, knew everything. At the club, first of all, Mahrez has gone from the throes of the second division to an absolutely incredible title with this small club that has not won any championships in its 131 years of history.
He became very decisive, the first player in the history of Algerian football, and also an African, to be named the best player in the English Premier League for the 2015-2016 season with a title, and thus, but also with 17 goals and 11 assists. Decisive in 37 games.
Through the strength of his performance, Mahrez joined the great Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, for a record amount of 68 million euros. All the player promised from Le Havre is Hell, as the Spanish coach is a follower of a rotation and constant recruitment of players in positions that triple, even quadruple.
Mahrez took time to adjust. After a perfectly correct first season with 7 goals and 4 assists in 27 games, he starts off again. Today, he comes to Paris as the indisputable champion, who has already scored 15 goals this season.
In the scale of glory
In the selection, finally, how it was possible to evoke Mahrez without recounting the epic 2019 of the historic African Cup of Nations for Algeria, never defeated in the whole competition, better attack, better defense and crowned the title of Mahrez, through his performance and his free kick against Nigeria, bear now As a proud science?
I saw everything, everything was known … or maybe not. A small gray area remains for Mahrez. While there is still time to talk about the Algerian dream (dare we say publicly that this team can hope for something simple in Qatar?), It is a European dream that remains for the coaching player at Le Havre.
Little star missing from his list. The little song, the tarpaulin that children wave at the central circle, the memories of Istanbul in 2005, the fall of Boateng, Zinedine Zidane’s shot … because yes: Riyad Mahrez has not yet won the Champions League.
Tonight, against Paris Saint-Germain, he will be on top of his form. It has never been this strong. His team is a steam engine and it is one of the primary gears. He will be the bearer, who yesterday was juggling ceaselessly a few kilometers away, bearer of victory, bearer of brilliance. Once again, Riyadh, it is time to make history.