Riyad Mahrez: The street-schooled dreamer whose ambition knew no limits

Tears trickled down the cheeks of a skinny 18-year-old as his manager broke the news. The young Riyad Mahrez wasn’t expecting this: a teenager, hundreds of miles from home, seeing his dreams of becoming a footballer snatched away.

It was 2009 and Quimper, an amateur team in France’s fourth tier, had decided that the tricky winger, who just under seven years later would be leading the most unlikely of Premier League title assaults with Leicester City, wasn’t good enough for them. Or so it seemed. 

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Joe Brewin

Joe was the Deputy Editor at FourFourTwo until 2022, having risen through the FFT academy and been on the brand since 2013 in various capacities. 

By weekend and frustrating midweek night he is a Leicester City fan, and in 2020 co-wrote the autobiography of former Foxes winger Matt Piper – subsequently listed for both the Telegraph and William Hill Sports Book of the Year awards.