Six years ago, the public of the football world did not know much about Riyad Mahrez. Since at that time, Mahrez was only defending a small club in the French league with Le Havre.
His name began to attract the football lovers as he was performing brilliantly with a small club, Leicester City in the English Premier League.
Mahrez was one of Leicester City’s stars when he won the English Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 season. The success of the club named “The Fox” in winning the championship of the best league in the world was certainly very surprising to all parties. Everyone knows that Leicester City is not a big club with a strong tradition in English football like Chelsea, Arsenal, or even Tottenham Hotspurs.
Riyad Mahrez began his career with the amateur club, Quimper, in 2009. This club competed in the fourth division in French football. While defending Quimper, Mahrez anchored in the club of Ligue II, Le Havre.
You guys need to know that in 2010, Riyad Mahrez had received an offer from PSG and Marseille to play there because at that time the two clubs were intensively looking for young players from France, but Mahrez refused the offer and chose Le Havre.
After strengthening the Le Havre junior team for a season, in the 2011/12 season, Mahrez was promoted to the main team by the coach. In Mahrez’s first season, he was only allowed to play eight times. Mahrez began to show his strength in his second season as he scored 5 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions.
While Mahrez was still defending Le Havre, the talent guide of England Championship club Leicester City, Steve Walsh, was monitoring his teammate, Ryan Mendes, but he was impressed with Mahrez’s performance instead.
Mahrez himself has never heard of Leicester city, which he initially regarded as a rugby club. And on January 11, 2014, he signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with the club which based at the King Power Stadium.
At first, his friends and family hesitated when Mahrez moved to English football for it was known for physical games. They believed that Mahrez’s style of playing football would be more suitable in Spain.
Playing in the Championship division, Mahrez successfully brought The Fox to be promoted to the primary league in mid-2014. He then made his Premier League debut on August 16, 2014, and scored his first goal on October 4, 2014, when he won a 2–2 draw against Burnley.
In that season, Mahres had played 32 times and scored 4 goals. In the following season, Mahrez’s performance was even more brilliant, along with Jamie Vardy, Ngolo Kante, and several other players. He succeeded in bringing out the club plaza, Leicester City, as the primary league champions.
In that season, Mahrez had scored 17 goals in 37 appearances in the primary league.
Mahrez was also one of the four Leicester City players who were included in the PFA Team of the Year in April 2016, and in the same month, he won the award for the best player in the primary league that made him the first African to get the award.
As we know that Riyad Mahrez is a player who strengthens the Algeria National Team. Algeria is a country in northern Africa. Mahrez himself was born in Sarcelles, France, a region known for its harshness and high crime. He was born on February 21, 1991.
Mahrez’s father and mother are Algerians and have Moroccan ancestry. Despite living in France, Mahrez always spent his vacation in Algeria.
Born in France, Riyad Mahrez could have defended the rooster team but he chose to defend the Algeria national team, the country of his parents’ birth.
Mahrez’s decision to defend the banner of the greatness of Algeria was apparently taken for his father’s sake, Ahmed. When Mahrez was 15 years old, he had to accept the reality of his father’s death.
Mahrez’s father is a former soccer player who died due to a heart attack. This, of course, made him experience one of the hardest moments of his life.
The death of his father triggered him to be more serious in pursuing football. He was contemplating as he thought “I should be more serious after my father’s death, that was when everything began to work out for me”.
Before died, his father had a will delivered to Mahrez. His father advised him to defend the Algerian national team. So, it was his will that made Mahrez choose Algeria.
“He wants me to play for Algeria,” said this 28-year-old man as quoted by Sky Sports.
During his busy life as a footballer, Mahrez still took the time to visit his father’s grave at Beni Snous, a city in northwestern Algeria.
In November 2013, French-born Mahrez expressed his desire to defend Algeria on an international event. Until finally he was called by the Algerian provisional team for the 2014 World Cup.
On May 31, 2014, Mahrez made his international debut with the team called El Khadra as a starter in a friendly match ahead of the World Cup against Armenia. Then he won an award for Algeria in an African cup qualifier against Malawi on October 15, 2014. While in the 2014 world cup, he played against Belgium.
Until now, the man who plays as a winger has recorded 53 appearances and scored 13 goals for Algeria. His best achievement was the 2019 African Cup Champion held in Egypt in July when Algeria beat Senegal 1-0.
For Mahrez, this was the first title he offered to his country. His pride was getting higher as he became a captain and a figure who lifted the African Cup trophy on the podium. Mahrez himself scored 3 goals in the tournament.
Currently, Mahrez plays at the top club in the English league, Manchester City. After the early of the 2018/19 season, he changed his five-year contract with The Citizen. With a transfer fee of 60 million pounds, or about 1 trillion rupiahs or more, it made him the most expensive African player and became Manchester City’s most expensive purchase, as well as won Leicester City’s biggest sales.
So, Football lovers, those are about the story of Riyad Mahrez who got a will from his father to win Algeria.