Mahrez: I learnt control and dribbling while playing street football

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Aside from his goal contributions in Pep Guardiola’s team, the Algeria captain is rated as one of the most skillful players in the English top-flight

Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez has revealed he learnt his sublime ball skills while playing street football as a youngster.

Mahrez has been outstanding for Pep Guardiola’s side this season with his contribution of four assists and nine goals in 24 Premier League matches and he is also considered as one of the best wingers in Europe.

The 30-year-old is a left-footer but his silky control and dribbling skills have got the attention of fans around the world.

The Algeria international, born in France, disclosed his experiences on the streets helped him develop the techniques and tricks.

“It is good to have these types of skills,” Mahrez told the club website. “When you are playing outside on the street with skills, it is much better for you when you play on the big pitch with the bigger players.

“When you have this skill it is easier. It is about technique, control, dribbling and I just learnt this playing street football.”

On Friday, Mahrez was named the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month for March.

Then Man City fell to a 2-1 loss against Leeds United on Saturday.

Despite the dropped points, City remain at the summit of the Premier League table with a 14-point lead and he believes they can still win the quadruple in this campaign.

“We just aim to try and win everything that we can,” the Algerian added.

“It is not going to be easy, but we arrive in the last stage of the season and we have to be ready to try and win everything.

“I think I feel good, I am not sure if I am in the best [form of my career], but I feel very good at the moment.

“Maybe it is experience. I am 30 and I know I have more games, so maybe experience is a reason [for this form].”

Guardiola’s side has been playing once in every three or four days after last month’s international break and the Algerian star is relishing the congested schedule.

Mahrez said: “I really love and enjoy [the busy schedule of games]. I really enjoy playing every three days. I am really happy and like it. We just get ready and are living for football.

“We go home, we eat, we sleep and our focus is on football. Every three or four days we are ready.”



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