Mahrez: I thought Foxes only had a rugby team

Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez has told FourFourTwo that he wasn’t always aware that the Foxes had a football team.

The 25-year-old winger is in line to claim this season’s Premier League Player of the Year prize following a stellar campaign for the King Power Stadium side, featuring 14 goals and 12 assists, that has fired City into title contention.

However, the former Quimper and Le Havre attacker, who was been capped on 22 occasions by Algeria, has admitted that he was initially unsure about the prospect of a move to the East Midlands when the Foxes approached him.

I thought they were a rugby club. I was like: ‘I don’t know...’ But then I came here to see the facilities and they were good. I do not regret signing for them, it’s the best club I’ve ever been at

Speaking exclusively in the April 2016 issue of FourFourTwo, Mahrez says:

“I didn’t know Leicester. In France we didn’t really [know them] because they were in the Championship. I thought they were a rugby club. I was like: ‘I don’t know...’ But then I came here to see the facilities and they were good. I do not regret signing for them, it’s the best club I’ve ever been at.”

Claudio Ranieri’s men sit top of the league table, three points clear of Tottenham Hotspur, with 10 matches remaining. And although they lost for only the third time in 2015/16 against Arsenal recently, Mahrez insists Leicester are confident enough to end the season at the summit and win a maiden top flight title, eclipsing their second-placed finish in 1928/29.

“This is Leicester’s best season ever and we just need to keep going,” he says. “We have the quality and we have the confidence, then when you start winning games you gain even more confidence. That’s how football goes.”

Read the full interview with Mahrez in the April 2016 issue of FourFourTwo, available in print, on iPad and iPhone. See behind the scenes footage of our photoshoot with Mahrez, plus interviews with fellow cover stars Dele Alli, Dimitri Payet and Hector Bellerin by subscribing to FourFourTwo’s YouTube channel, plus a library of Performance videos on how to train, think and play like a pro.

Photography: Stuart Manley / SM2studio