Manchester City and Algeria successes boosted my confidence, says Mahrez

• Algerian forward won five trophies in 2018-19 season
• Mahrez says success is motivating him to achieve more

Riyad Mahrez says Manchester City’s clean sweep of domestic trophies and Algeria’s Africa Cup of Nations triumph is motivating him to reach even greater heights.

The forward was part of Pep Guardiola’s side that won the Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Community Shield. He also captained Algeria to a first Afcon triumph victory for 29 years in July after they beat Senegal 1-0 in the final, with Mahrez having scored a late semi-final winner from a free-kick against Nigeria.

Guardiola has praised the 28-year-old’s early-season form and Mahrez, who was one of five City players to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or last week, pointed to his inspiration. “To win all four here in the country has never happened so we know we created history,” he said. “As well as this, a big moment for me was winning the Afcon for my country. It was one of the best emotions I have had in my career and life.

“It means a lot to me. It is a big responsibility, but I think it makes me more active [inspired] and I think I must help and give more to help. It was a big moment and emotional. It was unforgettable. I did this for Algeria and for my family. I always watched Algeria and they never won this type of thing. The last time they won was 29 years ago and I wasn’t even born. For me it was a big ambition to try and bring something for the country because it is a big country of football. The desire was to give everything and to give them something.”

Of his semi-final strike against Nigeria, Mahrez added: “I watched the clock and saw it was 90 minutes [gone]. I knew it was the last chance before extra time, so I was very focused. At first, I wanted to put it under the wall and then I saw the guy behind the wall, so I focused myself on the keeper’s side and I scored. It was a big moment for me, and I was very happy and for the country it was unbelievable. Sometimes I watch the video and think: ‘Wow, what have I done?’ It is unbelievable. It something that will stay forever. I always knew how [good] I can become – it helped me with my confidence.”

The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email.


Jamie Jackson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Riyad Mahrez strike sinks Nigeria and puts Algeria in Afcon final
A stoppage-time free-kick from Riyad Mahrez gave Algeria a 2-1 win over Nigeria that puts them in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations

Jonathan Wilson at the Cairo International Stadium

14, Jul, 2019 @10:05 PM

Article image
Algeria claim second Afcon title after Bounedjah’s lucky strike sinks Senegal
Algeria won the Africa Cup of Nations after a deflected strike from Baghdad Bounedjah gave them a 1-0 victory over Senegal in the final in Cairo

Nick Ames at Cairo International Stadium

19, Jul, 2019 @9:09 PM

Article image
Algeria deserved their Afcon triumph but a shame they decided to win ugly | Jonathan Wilson
Djamel Belmadi’s side were exciting throughout the Africa Cup of Nations yet let their verve take a back seat to time-wasting and diving to edge out Senegal 1-0 in the final

Jonathan Wilson in Cairo

19, Jul, 2019 @10:01 PM

Article image
Afcon final unites two African coaches who represent the future | Jonathan Wilson
Djamel Belmadi and Aliou Cissé used time in Europe to improve their sides and a tactical battle will decide the fate of Algeria and Senegal

Jonathan Wilson in Cairo

18, Jul, 2019 @5:05 PM

Article image
Algeria 3-0 Guinea: Africa Cup of Nations, round of 16 – at it happened
Fine goals from Mohamed Belaili, Riyad Mahrez and Adam Ounas gave Algeria a comfortable win; they meet Mali or Côte d’Ivoire next, and look good enough to go all the way.

Daniel Harris

07, Jul, 2019 @8:52 PM

Article image
Senegal 0-1 Algeria: Africa Cup of Nations 2019 – as it happened
Minute-by-minute report: Will either side emerge on top as the two Group C teams with wins to their name meet? Find out with Paul Doyle

Paul Doyle

27, Jun, 2019 @6:57 PM

Article image
Senegal 0-1 Algeria: Africa Cup of Nations 2019 final – as it happened
Algeria won their second African title after Baghdad Bounedjah’s second-minute deflected goal as Senegal had a penalty overturned by VAR

Paul Doyle

19, Jul, 2019 @9:11 PM

Article image
Algeria 2-1 Nigeria: Africa Cup of Nations semi-final – as it happened
Minute-by-minute report: Riyad Mahrez scored a last-second, stoppage-time free-kick to send Algeria into Friday’s final against Senegal

Simon Burnton

14, Jul, 2019 @9:03 PM

Article image
The Premier League’s likely winners and losers from 2017 Africa Cup of Nations | Paul Doyle
Liverpool, Manchester United, Sunderland, Leicester and others may be hit by the loss of players to the tournament in Gabon as clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester City capitalise

Paul Doyle

04, Jan, 2017 @12:00 PM

Article image
Algeria fans celebrate football victory in the streets of London
Hundreds gather in Trafalgar Square and around the city after team win Africa Cup of Nations

Nadeem Badshah

20, Jul, 2019 @3:39 PM