Algeria's Riyad Mahrez leads Manchester City into Istanbul final

Scorer of three of Guardiola's side's four goals against Paris Saint-Germain in the semi-finals
Riyad Mahrez

 -   Riyad Mahrez

Mahrez has become Manchester City's star player this year, especially in the Champions League. With his goals in the semi-finals against Mbappé and Neymar's PSG, he has taken the English side to the Champions League final in Istanbul on May 29.

After a multi-million dollar investment, the Abu Dhabi-backed London side had been on the verge of reaching the final year after year.

Guardiola has been completing his squad with more and better players to the point of having players such as Agüero, Sterling, Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus on the bench.

Finally, this year they have finally made it. After five years they will be in a Champions League final.

Riyad Mahrez, jugador del Manchester City

This year the backbone of the team has been goalkeeper Ederson, a permanent fixture in goal, Ruben Dias, a real find from Benfica ( 68 million), Rodri, the Spaniard from Villarreal and Atletico Madrid (62 million), Kevin De Bruyne, the best player of the last few seasons and Ballon d'Or candidate, Phil Foden, the home-grown star and starter of the England national team and, of course, Riyad Mahrez, the Cup winner, the best player of the last few seasons and Ballon d'Or candidate, Phil Foden, the star coming from the youth academy and starter of the England national team and, of course, Riyad Mahrez, winner of the African Cup with Algeria in 2019 in Egypt and decisive in the last Champions League matches. 

If we add Laporte, Stones, Zinchenko, Cancelo, Walker, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Sterling, Ferran Torres, Gabriel Jesus and Agüero among others, they make an exceptional squad in which none has played more than 70% of the games.

A squad so large that despite having a very tight schedule, all of them, especially those who are of most interest to Guardiola, have never been physically tired.

It is striking that a symbol of City like Kun Agüero is leaving after a year in which he has gone virtually unnoticed.

Riyad Mahrez, jugador del Manchester City

Within this perfect machine, De Bruyne and Mahrez have been the ones who have been clearest in front of goal.

Riyad Mahrez was signed by Guardiola from Leicester City in July '18 for almost EUR 68 million. He was one of the architects of Leicester's 2016 Premier League win and then won it again in 2019 with City. 

Despite being born in France, in Sarcelles, he opted for Algerian nationality and to play for the Algerian national team. His father was Algerian and his mother is Algerian-Moroccan. He is a practising Muslim. In 2017, he made the pilgrimage to Mecca with friends, some of them footballers.

Riyad Mahrez, jugador del Manchester City

This year, if there are no setbacks, he will be in the final in Istanbul, a starter and the onus will be on him to make the difference as he has done in the last play-offs.

In any case, he has the great merit of having taken the team to a Champions League final for the first time.