Riyad Mahrez

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Personal information

Full Name Riyad Karim Mahrez
Born 21 February 1991
Sarcelles, France
Position(S) Winger

Club information

Current team Manchester City
Number 26

Riyad Karim Mahrez is a professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Manchester City and captains the Algeria national team.

Mahrez was born in Sarcelles, France, to an Algerian father and a mother of Algerian and Moroccan descent. His father Ahmed was from Beni Snous, Tlemcen District. Growing up, Mahrez would regularly spend his holidays in Algeria. Mahrez’s father had played football in Algeria. When Mahrez was fifteen, his father died of a heart attack. He reflected that “I don’t know if I started to be more serious but after the death of my dad things started to go for me. Maybe in my head, I wanted it more”.

Personal Life

Mahrez married his English girlfriend Rita Johal in 2015. Their daughter was born later that year. In June 2019, the couple, who by that time had two daughters, were ordered to pay a former nanny more than £3,600 in unpaid wages. In October 2020, it was confirmed that Mahrez is now in a relationship with model Taylor Ward after splitting from Johal. They announced their engagement on 21 June 2021.

Mahrez is a practising Muslim. In June 2017, he made the Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca.

In May 2020, Mahrez lost hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of valuables after his penthouse apartment in Manchester was burgled.

Club Career

  • Leicester City

On 11 January 2014, Mahrez was signed by Leicester City on a three-and-a-half-year contract for around £450,000.

Mahrez made his debut on 25 January 2014, coming on in the 79th minute as a substitute replacing fellow winger Lloyd Dyer, in the 2–0 win against Middlesbrough. After making four substitute appearances for Leicester, including scoring his first goal for the club, an 82nd-minute equaliser against local rivals Nottingham Forest, manager Nigel Pearson announced in February 2014 that he thought Mahrez was ready to start games. Leicester ended the season as winners of the Championship, returning to the Premier League for the first time in ten years.

  • Manchester City

On 10 July 2018, Manchester City confirmed the signing of Mahrez on a five-year contract. The transfer fee of £60m made Mahrez the most expensive African footballer, and also Manchester City’s most expensive signing and a record transfer fee received by Leicester City.

He stated he wanted to win the Champions League with the club. He made his debut as a starter on 5 August, as City defeated Chelsea 2–0 to win the 2018 FA Community Shield at Wembley Stadium. On 22 September 2018, coming on as a substitute in the 61st minute Mahrez scored a brace for the Citizens against Cardiff City, The first goal was his first with Manchester City.

At the end of his first season with Manchester City, despite having “limited playing time” (including just 14 league starts), Mahrez won the Premier League title for the second time, and his first with Manchester City, becoming the second African player to win the title with two different clubs after Kolo Touré.

On 28 November 2020, Mahrez scored his first hat-trick for City in a 5–0 home league win over Burnley. On 4 May 2021, Mahrez scored both goals in a 2–0 home win over Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals, and by scoring via a direct free kick in a 2–1 away win a week earlier, he led City through to the first European Cup final in the club’s history.

International Career

In November 2013, the French-born Mahrez expressed his desire to represent Algeria internationally. He was called up to the provisional Algeria squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. On 31 May 2014, Mahrez made his international debut for the Desert Foxes as a starter in a pre-World Cup friendly match against Armenia, and he was subsequently called up to the full squad for the tournament on 2 June.

On 15 October 2014, Mahrez scored his first international goal, as well as setting up Islam Slimani in Algeria’s 3–0, Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Malawi. In December 2014 he was announced as a member of Algeria’s squad for the final tournament in Equatorial Guinea for the first time.

Mahrez was named in coach Georges Leekens’ Algeria squad for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon. In their opening game, he scored both goals in a 2–2 draw with Zimbabwe and was awarded Man of the Match.

In May 2019, he was named to Algeria’s 23-man squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.[96] By the decision of coach Djamel Belmadi, Mahrez was chosen to be captain of Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations. Mahrez scored a 90+5 minute goal in a 2–1 win against Nigeria in the semi-finals of the competition. Later on, Algeria managed to win the tournament which was their first since 1990.

Style of Play

A left-footed player, Mahrez usually plays as a right winger, a position which allows him to cut inside and shoot on goal with his stronger foot, or make deliveries into the penalty area; however, he is a versatile player, who is capable of playing anywhere across the front line. In a central role as an attacking midfielder, as a winger on either flank, or even in a centre-forward role as a false 9.

A quick, creative and technically gifted player, his main traits are his trickery, balance, turn of pace, flair and dribbling skills. Although he is capable of scoring goals, he is also an excellent assist provider, courtesy of his ability to create chances for his teammates.


Honours

Leicester City

  • Premier League: 2015–16
  • Football League Championship: 2013–14

Manchester City

  • Premier League: 2018–19, 2020–21
  • FA Cup: 2018–19
  • EFL Cup: 2018–19, 2019–20, 2020–21
  • FA Community Shield: 2018
  • UEFA Champions League runner-up: 2020–21

Algeria

  • Africa Cup of Nations: 2019

Individual

  • CAF African Footballer of the Year: 2016
  • BBC African Footballer of the Year: 2016
  • Algerian Footballer of the Year: 2015, 2016
  • PFA Team of the Year: 2015–16 Premier League
  • PFA Players’ Player of the Year: 2015–16
  • PFA Fans’ Player of the Year: 2015–16
  • Leicester City Player of the Year: 2015–16
  • El Heddaf Arab Footballer of the Year: 2016
  • Lion d’Or African Footballer of the Year: 2016
  • CAF Team of the Year: 2016, 2018, 2019
  • CAF Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament: 2019
  • African Goal of the Year: 2019
  • IFFHS CAF Men Team of The Year: 2020 2021 
  • IFFHS CAF Men’s Team of the Decade 2011–2020
  • Manchester City Player of the Month: October 2018, September 2019, December 2019, February 2021
  • PFA Fans’ Player of the Month: March 2021
  • Alan Hardaker Trophy: 2021
  • IFFHS CAF World’s Best Playmaker: 2021
What is the name of Riyad Mahrez’s ex wife?

Riyad Mahrez’s ex wife name is Rita Johal. They got married in 2015 and have two daughters.

What was the first club of Riyad Mahrez?

First club of Riyad Mahrez was Leicester City.

Is Riyad Mahrez engaged?

Mahrez is now engaged to Taylor Ward, an influencer who is the daughter of Ashley Ward, a former City footballer. They announced their engagement on June 2021.

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