Riyad Mahrez: Manchester City winger is Algeria's star man, says coach Djamel Belmadi
By Tommaso Fiore
Last Updated: 14/10/19 3:17pm
Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi praised Riyad Mahrez for outshining Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in their victorious Africa Cup of Nations campaign.
Mahrez scored three goals throughout the tournament including a 95th-minute free-kick in the semi-final to send Algeria through to the final - in which they overcame Mane's Senegal with a 1-0 win.
The Manchester City winger, who was voted by fans as the club's player of the month for September, captained his national side and led them to their second AFCON crown, 29 years after their last.
"Riyad performed the role of captain with great elegance," Belmadi told FIFA.com. "He was a very effective member of the team and vitally important in building attacks.
"He scored and was always present at the difficult times. What we saw was a star who deserves all the plaudits.
"Everyone was waiting to see Mahrez playing against Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, and Riyad was there when needed and lived up to expectations."
The AFCON success granted Belmadi a shortlist nomination for FIFA's The Best Men's coach earlier this year alongside City boss Pep Guardiola, although they both eventually lost out to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
"It's wonderful and nice to be on the list, especially alongside big names in the world of coaching, whom I consider to be role models because of their ideas and coaching philosophies," Belmadi said.
"But at the same time, I consider the achievement to be the fruit of work by a tightknit coaching team and all the players."