How Man City Star Riyad Mahrez Once Fled a Trial Using a Borrowed Bike

How Man City Star Riyad Mahrez Once Fled a Trial Using a Borrowed Bike

Elijah Odetokun
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:24 PM
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ENG Premier League
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R. Mahrez
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  • Riyad Mahrez has been one of Manchester City's standout players since he joined in 2018
  • The Algerian won the 2016 Premier League with Leicester City, also winning the player of the year
  • His career could have turned out differently if he had not fled Scotland during a trial

Millions of players start out in football academies around the world, only a few make it to the world stage. Time, chance and coincidence plays an important role in who makes it, sometimes more than talent or ability.

Decision making is an important component of a football career, many have made the decisions that have bettered their career, while some have made ones that have totally killed their careers, in the end those who succeed are the ones who can tell their stories.

Riyad Mahrez made a decision in his career as a young boy, though it did not immediately pay off it proved to be a long term game changer for the Algerian international.

Riyad Mahrez, Manchester City, Premier League, Wolves, Etihad stadium.
Mahrez in action for City against Wolves. Photo by Dave Howarth.
Source: Getty Images

Mahrez fled Scotland on borrowed bike

According to Daily Star, Mahrez went for a trial in Scotland with St Mirren but got tired of the harsh weather and decided to flee the country and returned to France.

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Speaking in an interview with L'equipe in 2016, as quoted by Sky Sports, the 31-year-old narrated his ordeal in the cold region of the United Kingdom while looking for a major break in his career.

''It went well. I played four friendlies and I scored seven goals. I killed them. And then they made me wait. Two-and-a-half months,'' he said of the trial in Scotland.
''I'd had enough. It drove me crazy, Scotland. It was cold. It was abuse. It was snowing and everything... I was so cold that one day I faked an injury to go to the locker room,'' he added.

He got in contact with his agent who bought him a flight ticket back to Paris and gave him instructions on how to reach the train station in Glasgow, but he used his own initiative to escape the situation.

''I did not speak English at all. I left my boots at the training ground. I borrowed a bike from a guy from the hotel, I took my football trainers, I made my bag and I left without telling anyone. Not even the lady at the hotel. I left via a staircase which avoided the reception,'' he said.

Mahrez scores wonder goal against ChelseaMahrez scores wonder goal against Chelsea

The left-footed winger has certainly moved on from the experiences of his time before fame, has gone on to win a shocking Premier League title with Leicester, won the African Cup of Nations and named African best.

As Sports Brief earlier reported, he put a sword through the heart of Chelsea fans with his freekick goal against them in a Premier League match which earned the current English champions victory.

He then scored two more goals against the London club in the FA Cup to continue his impressive run of form against the club that denied him and City Champions League trophy in 2021.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.