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Leicester star Mahrez shines on and off the field in Hong Kong

Leicester City’s Algerian ace Riyad Mahrez has shown he can dazzle off the field just as well as he does on it, taking out the EA Sports FIFA 18 Pro Challenge in Hong Kong this week against some fellow Premier League stars.

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A day after scoring a fine solo goal in the Premier League Asia Trophy match at the Hong Kong Stadium against West Bromwich Albion, the 2015-16 PFA Player of the Year worked his magic again, defeating Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke in the FIFA 18 final held at the Harbour View Renaissance Hotel.

He emerged as the top dog from a field of Premiership players which included Andros Townsend, Bakary Sako, Benteke and Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace, plus his City teammates Islam Slimani, Yohan Benalouane and Wilfred Ndidi.  

Scheduled for release at the end of September, FIFA 18 is the latest incarnation of EA Sports’ best selling football video game.

While the new game will feel immediately familiar to anyone who has played FIFA 17, the latest installment also has some significant upgrades.

Mahrez proved the man to beat

The use of a new animation engine known as the Real-Player Motion Technology System has made player control smoother and more responsive. 

To improve realism, considerable attention has been paid to even the littlest details. The distinctive real life gait and running styles are now replicated in-game.

Raheem Stirling in the game, for example, will run like Raheem Stirling in real life.

The artificial intelligence for tactics and movement has been overhauled to take into account different styles of play. So playing against Barcelona will now feel distinctly different from playing against a team like Stoke City.

Zaha gets into the FIFA 18 spirit

FIFA 17’s popular story mode ‘The Journey’ is carried over as well, with a richer and more ambitious storyline.

Speaking to FourFourTwo at the event, FIFA 18’s creative director Matt Prior said: “FIFA 17 was about setting the foundation, introducing Alex Hunter (the main protagonist of The Journey) to the world.

“In FIFA 18, we are taking him out of the Premier League to the wider world.

“I can’t reveal anything now but there will be new characters who will be surprising to many people.”

Photos: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo