A Section Football fans have rubbished the suggestion that Algerian star Riyad Mahrez should be included as a Ballon d’Or contender. This is after Mahrez successfully led his side to win the 2019 African Cup of Nations title on Friday.
The Desert Foxes won the AFCON title for the second time when a freak second-minute goal by Baghdad Bounedjah gave them a 1-0 win over gallant Senegal in the final.
This became the fifth trophy this year for the 28-year-old. With his club Manchester City, he lifted the Premier League, English FA Cup, English League Cup, English Super Cup before helping the Desert Foxes win the AFCON trophy for the second time.
And now that this year’s Ballon d’Or contenders have not been announced, many have given various suggestions on who should make the list.
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Vigil Van Djik, Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane among others are among those on the top list for the prestigious award.
But fans would not bear to hear Mahrez’s name being mentioned among the contenders;
Mahrez began his career as a youth player for French club AAS Sarcelles. He turned professional in 2009 with Quimper, where he played for only one season before moving to Le Havre, spending a total of three years with them, initially playing for their reserve team and then becoming a first-team regular.
In January 2014, Mahrez signed for English side Leicester City, helping them win the Championship and promotion to the Premier League at the end of his first season. In the 2015–16 season he was the Algerian Footballer of the Year, the PFA Players’ Player of the Year, and was a member of the Premier League PFA Team of the Year as he helped Leicester City win the Premier League.
He signed for Manchester City in 2018, winning the Premier League, FA Cup and EFL Cup in his first season.
Born in France, Mahrez made his international debut for Algeria in 2014 and represented them at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and at the 2015, 2017 and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, winning the latter tournament. In 2016 he was named CAF’s African Footballer of the Year.