What can I say about Riyad Mahrez that hasn’t been said a 1,000 times already. One of the most magnificent, mysterious, and majestic players ever to wear a Leicester City kit, the Algerian winger was finally sold this week to long-time suitor Manchester City.
The number of Leicester’s title-winners from the incredible 2015/16 season drops another number and is now without arguably it’s best player from that oh-so-unlikely campaign. Mahrez, moved us. He made our jaws drop. What he was able to do on the ball brought true joy to watching the Foxes.
Originally purchased as an unknown for a mere £400,000 from Le Havre, Mahrez went on to make 158 appearances for City, raking up 42 goals in the process. He saw a promotion, a great escape, and was a leading character in the greatest story in the history of sports.
Riyad, we thank you. Here are our favorite memories from your time in proper blue.
Michael Franca, FP Editor
Perhaps my favorite memory of Riyad Mahrez in a Leicester shirt is from September 14th, 2016. On that date Mahrez showed the world that Leicester City’s remarkable story did not end with its capture of the Premier League title by shining his brightest in the club’s first ever Champions League match.
He sweetly struck a free-kick into the top-left corner of the net with his magic left foot and proved that he belonged on the biggest stage in club football. That wasn’t enough for him, either, as he went on to grab a second goal with a confident penalty to help the Foxes cruise to victory.
To me, the moment serves as a reminder not to ever dare to put a ceiling on what Leicester City can accomplish, and that’s thanks in large part to what Mahrez has helped it become.
Alex Waterfield, FP Writer
Having had a look at the club’s video of great Mahrez moments, one goal I particularly like was his goal against Tottenham Hotspur last season, in the 2-1 home win. Vardy opened the scoring in that game, before Mahrez’s brilliant strike made it 2-0 just before half-time.
It was a great counter-attacking goal, and it was such an important goal as it gave us a cushion just when the focus was to hold out until half-time. Writing this, it came into my mind that this goal was another from the Mahrez-Vardy partnership, which is coming to an end. However, they will go down in history as such a special duo.
Russ McCuen, FP Writer
My favorite Riyad Mahrez moment came this season in a match at The Hawthorns on March 10th. Mahrez sent a long pass from beyond the halfway line to Vardy who smashed it home on the volley (winning goal of the month) in a match in which Leicester City dominated West Brom 4 - 1.
It’s my favorite Mahrez moment because it shows what Vardy is capable of doing when he gets the ball, and that is what the Foxes need to focus on going forward. Yes, Mahrez was (at times) a great player. But now he is gone and Leicester City need to ensure Vardy is given the service he needs for the rest of his time at the club. So thanks, Riyad, for helping the club win a title. But now it’s time to move forward with Vardy and the Foxes of the future.
Matt Cook, FP Writer, History Channel Expert
1/5 of a score and many moons ago our scouting team brought forth to this patch of England a new winger, conceived in Algeria, and dedicated to the proposition of giving his all for Leicester City.
Later he was engaged in a great battle for the title, testing whether that club, or any club like it, could endure and win a title. He met Chelsea on that great battlefield of war and we have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for Cesar Azpilicueta’s ankles. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
- Abe Lincoln
The Pensioners Address
Jack Lee, FP Deputy Editor
At the start of the 15/16 the team was one big question mark. Would the incredible momentum of the great escape last into the new season? Could the Ranieri pick up from where Pearson left off? Would Riyad Mahrez ever take the next step and become the top performer we all knew he could be?
An absolute demolition of the Black Cats, including two goals, a near miss and four key passes for the unstopped Algerian, answered all of them with a resounding yes. An easy win, a strong team performance littered with individual brilliance and a sense of pure joy in watching the Foxes play absolutely set the mood for the rest of the season.
Shane Evans, FP Managing Editor
Did you really think we’d do this whole article without a mention of his famous goal against Manchester City during the title-winning season? Au contraire mon frère. One of the most unbelievable goals I have witnessed, Mahrez’s decimating of The Citizens at the Etihad will go down in the annals of Premier League history as one of the really special strikes from that ridiculous season.
Picking up the ball 35 yards out, he hops by Nicolas Otamendi, turns Martin Demichelis inside out and upside down and fires a shot so powerful and precise Joe Hart was, as they say, left rooted to the spot. The impact of the goal was that much more power.
What I enjoyed most about it though...the botched slide celebration. So perfectly imperfect it somehow made the goal even better.
Is Riyad Mahrez one of Leicester City’s all-time greats?
This poll is closed
Yes 100%, without a doubt
He’s up there...not quite a legend
No, not even close