Riyad Mahrez trained today (October 9th) with the Algerian national team for the first time since his late penalty miss at Anfield in Sidi Moussa, Algiers.
The Manchester City winger missed a crucial spot-kick in the 87th minute which would have surely sealed the three points for Pep Guardiola’s side in the Premier League.
Mahrez flew from England to Algiers yesterday and trained with the national team under manager Djamel Belmadi ahead of Friday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Benin.
Belmadi attended a press conference today and spoke about Mahrez, calling for the country to “make him feel more welcome in Algeria”, as well as describing him as “one of the greatest Algerian players of all time”.
All 23 players took part in training, including Oussama Darfalou who was drafted in to replace the injured Fenerbahce striker Islam Slimani.
Algeria have never lost to Benin in their history, and Mahrez will be looking to boost his confidence with a few goals this week and in next week’s return fixture too.
The 27-year-old has eight goals for Les Verts but has not netted for the national team since January 2017, which was almost two years ago when he scored a brace against Zimbabwe.