Riyad Mahrez has been in scintillating form for Manchester City this term following his win with his country, Algeria in Africa’s continental showpiece.
Mahrez was instrumental to the North African nation’s victory, scoring a stunning freekick which was a beautiful spectacle at the Africa Cup of Nations.
The winger also showed good leadership qualities, captaining the side to their first AFCON title in as many as 29 years.
He recently replicated that freekick in his side’s win against Everton in what is fast becoming a Mahrez-esque kick.
HAVE YOU READ: Mahrez Hopes To Build On Current Form
Pep Guardiola was full of praises for the 28-year-old and has highlighted how the AFCON triumph has helped shape the Algerian.
Since that return from Africa’s foremost football tournament in July, Mahrez has been outstanding for the two-time reigning Premier League Champions, notching three goals and four assists across all competitions this term.
After his man-of-match display, Manchester City boss said the former Leicester City man was an exceptional player with a special gift.
“He is an exceptional player and I am happy for him because he is playing at an incredible level,” the Spanish gaffer told the club website.
“I think the African Cup of Nations made him believe how good he can be. He knew already, but I think it helps winning this trophy for his country. It was so important for him.
“From the beginning of the season he arrived with an incredible mentality. He was positive in the way he played.
“You have the feeling when he gets the ball on the 18-yard box, close to the area, that something is going to happen.
“I think all the spectators have that feeling and that is because he has a gift. He has something special.”
Manchester City have gotten on to what many would describe as a slow start this campaign. Consequently, they are now two points adrift of league leaders, Liverpool.