Africa Cup: Mahrez urges his country to face the challenge

Douala: Algeria star and captain Riyad Mahrez has appealed to his national teammates to take on the challenge when the Desert Warriors begin their CAN title defense campaign in Cameroon versus Sierra Leone on Tuesday. “This version will be more difficult than the last,” Manchester City winger Mahrez said in a press conference on the eve of the game. The level will be higher after the development of the other teams, but we came here with ambition and determination to repeat what we did in 2019 and achieve great things again. “Mahrez had contributed a lot to his country’s victory in the continental title. in Egypt in the summer of 2019, and since then the battalion of coach Gamal Belmadi hasn’t lost any matches. Mahrez is considered to be one of the best stars in view of the current African championship, which took place despite the pressure exerted by the prestigious club Europeans to postpone it, because they did not want to free their players in the middle of the season and in the midst of the Corona virus crisis. Mahrez commented: “Everything went well with Manchester City. It is not up to the club because we play with the national teams and the Nations Cup is a great tournament like the Champions Cup or the Copa America ”. Mahrez stayed with his club in the period of Christmas and New Year and he played the ninety minutes against Leicester City and Arsenal, for this Belmadi has decided to relieve him from the participation in the camp that the team has set up in Doha in recent days. “He has played several games in the last period, more than usual, and therefore we have decided not to call him in this retirement because we don’t want him to get tired before the continental championship “, Belmadi revealed on Tuesday in Press conference. Belmadi felt that the differences between the 2019 version and the current version are notable, stating: “There is a difference between the 2019 version and the current version that we enter as title holders. But we have a great ambition and we want to reach ours. lenses “. (AFP)