Mahrez: ‘I love playing for my country’

Riyad Mahrez says he’s proud to be leading Algeria at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations.

The City winger will captain Djamel Belmadi’s side at the tournament, which is being held in Cameroon across the next month.

Algeria begin their defence of the trophy on Tuesday 11 January when they face Sierra Leone in Douala, with Mahrez and co. hoping to finish as AFCON champions for the third time in the country’s history.

And the 30-year-old has explained what it would mean to both himself and his nation to lift the trophy once again.


“I love playing for my country, it’s so emotional you know, because it’s your country and the people and your family.

“That’s why we love them and that’s why we give everything on the pitch for them.

“I’m very proud to play for this country, I’m very happy.”

With messages of support from fans spread throughout the interview, Mahrez also discusses what the beautiful game means to the people of Algeria.


“They are crazy a little bit,” he joked.

“They want to come to the game, the stadium, they scream, they come at the game.

“If we play at 20:00 then they’ll be at the stadium at like 09:00 or 10:00 waiting all day for us to come because they’re so excited and they love it.”

Algeria face Sierra Leone in their opening Group E fixture on Tuesday 11 January, with kick-off scheduled for 13:00 (UK).

A comprehensive, Mahrez-focused report will be available to view on and the official Man City app soon after the final whistle.

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