This article introduces the comprehensive narrative of Riyad Mahrez Biography, a football prodigy famously known by the moniker ‘Algerian Jewel.’
Our rendition of Riyad Mahrez’s biography, including his childhood story, gives you a detailed rundown of significant occurrences from his early years up until now.
We delve into Riyad Mahrez’s life story, examining his journey before his rise to fame, facts about his relationships, family life, and numerous less-known details about his off-field life.
Many people are familiar with his talent and role for Manchester City, yet only a handful have accessed our distinct version of Riyad Mahrez’s biography, which is quite fascinating. Now, let’s dive right in without further delay.
Exploring Riyad Mahrez’s Early Years and Family Roots:
To start with his biography, Riyad Karim Mahrez was born on February 21st, 1991, in Sarcelles, France. A Pisces by the zodiac (like Warren Zaire-Emery and Serhou Guirassy), Riyad was born to his Algerian/Moroccan mother, Halima Mahrez, and father, Ahmed Mahrez.
Throughout his childhood, Riyad Mahrez would routinely visit Algeria during holidays. He spent his formative years in Sarcelles, France, an area notorious for violence, drug trafficking, a substantial immigrant population, and pervasive unemployment.
In October 2005, the fatal police shooting of two young men incited riots in Sarcelles and other impoverished suburbs of Paris, which continued for weeks.
Out of fear of becoming victims of violence, Riyad’s parents ensured their children stayed indoors under heavy protection.
Night after night, hooded youths committed car thefts followed by arson, and frequently clashed with the heavily armed French riot police.
Sarcelles, a hub for migrant residents, has produced prominent Muslim migrant footballers like Zinedine Zidane. Zidane’s talent played a significant role in inspiring Riyad to take up football.
Nonetheless, it was Riyad’s father, Ahmed, who further kindled his son’s passion for the sport.
In order to maintain order, he maintained an ongoing involvement in his son’s football growth. Ahmed made it a point to accompany Riyad to every single match.
When Mahrez was fifteen, his father succumbed to a heart attack, which greatly impacted him. He mused that…
“The demise of my dad made me take football more seriously. That’s when things started working out for me.”
He made a pledge to become a professional player as a tribute to his father.
Mahrez views his father’s death as the turning point of his career. Rather than succumbing to sorrow, he utilized the tragedy to become more committed to football.
He faced numerous obstacles, even while he strived hard. Riyad Mahrez was not the most physically mature player during his early days.
His former coaches once told him he’d never succeed in football due to his slender build. They considered him “too lean” to play professional football.
The Algerian star once confessed,
“They claimed I was too thin, that everyone would outmuscle me. Though I had good technique, physically, I wasn’t too strong. Nor was I fast. But I always put in the hard work.”
In Riyad’s words, a manager once told him,
“When you’re thin or small, like you are,… you don’t go into duels,”
“You have to play avoiding contact, you have to be smart because right now you’re not strong enough.”
Riyad Mahrez’s Life Story – A Tale of Perseverance:
Despite his fragile physique, Riyad Mahrez demonstrated a tenacity that was greater than any technical skill on the football pitch. He showed courage, strength and a determined personality.
Following his father’s passing, Mahrez, then 19, signed a deal with Quimper football club, a team from France’s seventh division, four years later.
While at Quimper, he shared the pitch with Mathias Pogba, sibling of the famous French footballer Paul Pogba.
Not many would expect a small, historic town like Quimper in Brittany, France to be the beginning of a football superstar’s career.
Despite interest from French giants Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille, the young Mahrez declined their offers with a firm “No, thank you.”
Instead, he chose to move to Le Havre, a club in France’s second division, where he could feature regularly in the first team rather than joining an academy setup.
Mahrez’s decision was fruitful as he gradually climbed up the ranks. By 2014, he had attracted the attention of numerous clubs across Europe.
From Quimper to Leicester:
One significant day, Riyad’s older brother and manager, Wahid, informed him about Leicester City’s intention to sign him, an offer that seemed to resonate with Riyad.
Mahrez initially mistook ‘Leicester’ for a rugby team as the club was then in the Championship League and wasn’t very well-known in the football world.
Despite this, he trusted his elder brother’s advice and prepared for a move. In January 2014, he officially became a Leicester City player.
Reflecting on his time at Leicester, Riyad stated,
“When I arrived at Leicester, I discovered that they had fantastic facilities. I’ve never regretted my decision to sign with them. It’s the best club I’ve ever played for.”
In his debut season, he helped the club win the Championship, thus securing their promotion to the Premier League.
His journey to stardom took an unusual path when he helped Leicester clinch the 2015/2016 Barclays Premier League title. As the New York Times has said, he was the main man behind Leicester’s Rise to Top.
While at Leicester, he earned the distinction of being the first Algerian and African player to win English football’s best player award.
After his success at Leicester, Riyad’s career soared at Manchester City. He was part of their 2023 Champions League triumph. In that team, managed by Pep Guardiola, he played alongside stars such as Ilkay Gundogan (Midfield), Ederson Moraes (Goalkeeper), Manuel Akanji (Defender), Julian Alvarez (Forward), Erling Haaland (Forward) and Kevin De Bruyne (Midfield). His journey of success kept unfolding.
Riyad Mahrez’s Personal Life:
Rita, Riyad’s partner, once confessed to being troubled by numerous stalkers and online trolls.
After agreeing to be Riyad’s partner, she commented,
“While the WAG lifestyle can be attractive, it does come with its challenges, one of which is online harassment.”
She is indeed a symbol of beauty, as demonstrated in the following photograph.
In 2015, Mahrez and his English sweetheart, Rita Johal, exchanged wedding vows. This momentous event took place during the summer before he pledged his professional future to Leicester City.
Riyad proved to be as adept off the pitch as on it. The same year they married, their daughter was born.
Rita is presently a mother of two children (Ayla Mahrez and Mila Mahrez). Riyad, her Algerian husband, has publicly stated that he is very much a family man.
The Family Life of Riyad Mahrez:
Hailing from a middle-class background, Riyad Mahrez’s life dramatically transformed once his football career began to flourish. As Mahrez himself said, “We were certainly not wealthy, but we were not destitute either.”
About Riyad Mahrez’s Father:
Riyad’s father, Ahmed, was a native of Beni Snous, in the Tlemcen District of Algeria. He spent his early years in the small village of El Khemi in the rustic regions of western Algeria, near the Moroccan border.
Raised in a middle-class family, Ahmed was an accomplished student with a knack for mathematics. He was also an adept sportsman.
Ahmed played professional football for a few smaller teams in both Algeria and France. Below is a snapshot from his footballing days.
From the moment Riyad was born, Ahmed envisioned a future for him in football, a vision Riyad took to heart.
However, the family’s circumstances took a severe turn when Ahmed was diagnosed with a heart condition, leading to financial hardship as they struggled to afford his medical treatment.
When Riyad was just 15, his father passed away at the age of 54. Today, Riyad has fulfilled his father’s ambition, making him a proud man.
About Riyad Mahrez’s Mother:
Following the loss of her husband, Halima Mahrez, Riyad’s mother, became his pillar of strength. Below is a picture of her celebrating her son’s triumph in Leicester.
In fact, she has stood by him at every stage of his journey. Once she realized his potential greatness, Halima made every effort to support him.
“My mum would always come home from work and do everything she could to ensure we were well-fed.” Riyad’s mother recently moved away from Sarcelles, France. When asked about her reason for relocating, she said, “People have become envious of my son’s success, even though he hasn’t forgotten where he came from.”
Riyad Mahrez’s Brother:
Since the loss of their father, Riyad’s brother, Wahid Mahrez, has stepped into the role of a father figure. He currently manages Riyad’s career and was instrumental in Riyad’s decision to sign with Leicester.
In the final section of Riyad Mahrez’s Biography, we’ll unveil truths you might not know about him. Without further ado, let’s begin.
The Aspiring Pizzaiolo:
Beyond the realm of football, Riyad Mahrez enjoys the art of pizza-making with his friends. He’s a social butterfly, getting along with almost everyone he meets.
If he hadn’t found success in football, it’s likely Riyad would have pursued a career as a pizza chef. Here he is, skillfully tossing a pizza dough in the air.
A Unique Achievement:
Riyad Mahrez has the singular honour of being the first, and so far, the only Algerian to have netted a Premier League hat-trick.
On December 5, 2015, the then-25-year-old accomplished this impressive feat during Leicester’s resounding 3-0 triumph over Swansea City FC. Not even Ali Benarbia, who played for Manchester City from 2001 to 2003, managed this.
What is Riyad Mahrez’s Religion:
Mahrez is a devout Muslim, deeply committed to his faith, similar to his fellow countryman, Ismael Bennacer. In June 2017, he made the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Riyad Mahrez’s Horoscope Profile:
Strengths: Empathy, creativity, intuition, kindness, wisdom, and musicality.
Weaknesses: Prone to fear, being overly trustful, sadness, a desire to evade reality, potential to become a victim or a martyr.
Likes: Solitude, rest, music, romance, visual arts, swimming, and spiritual themes.
Dislikes: Arrogance, criticism, past mistakes resurfacing, and any form of cruelty.
Thank you for reading Riyad Mahrez’s biography. Here at SoccerBiography, we endeavour for precision and fairness in bringing you the narratives of Algerian footballers and those with Algerian family roots.