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Former Moroccan international criticizes Riyad Mahrez’s performance after AFCON disappointment

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Riyad Mahrez, the longstanding captain of the Algerian national team, finds himself under scrutiny following Algeria’s disappointing performance in the recent African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast. However, criticism of Mahrez extends beyond the borders of Algeria, with former Moroccan international Mustapha Hadji offering pointed remarks about the Manchester City star’s recent form.

In an interview with Al-Arabiya in Saudi Arabia, Hadji did not hold back, expressing his concerns about Mahrez’s on-field performance and physical condition.

His comments, as reported by La Gazette du Fennec, shed light on what he perceives as Mahrez’s lack of mental enthusiasm, reduced activity on the field, and failure to make necessary recovery efforts after losing possession.

“Mahrez lacks enthusiasm mentally when he plays, he doesn’t look for the ball. He is not as active as he should be on the right side, and when he loses the ball, he does not make the effort to recover it (…) I think Mahrez is not at his best of its shape.

He suffers from a significant physical problem due to a weight gain of 4 to 5 kilograms since his transfer to Saudi Arabia,” Hadji remarked.

The critique extends to Mahrez’s performance during the African Cup of Nations, where, according to Hadji, the Algerian star failed to reach his usual level of play.

Hadji suggested that Mahrez could benefit from emulating the intensity displayed by veteran footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, even at the age of 40.

Mahrez, who has been a central figure in Algerian football for years, may find Hadji’s comments challenging.

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However, as a professional athlete, he will likely use such criticism as motivation to address any shortcomings and strive for improved performance on the field.

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