He has been linked with the likes of Barcelona in recent months, but Riyad Mahrez says he is “lucky” to play in the English Premier League, which he describes as “football’s NBA”.
The Algerian is having a dream season with Leicester City and his 15 goals and 11 assists have helped the Foxes to the top of the standings, five points clear of second-placed Tottenham with only nine games remaining.
The 25-year-old’s rise has certainly been meteoric since he joined Leicester from French outfit Le Havre in 2014 and, despite reports suggesting that Barcelona might come calling soon, Mahrez is enjoying life in England.
“We are ten worlds away from France,” he told FIFA.com. “It is impressive. To sum it up, I would say that the Premier League is football’s NBA. Playing in the Premier League, in front of such crowds and on such perfect pitches, is amazing. I am so lucky.”
Although he has only really blossomed the past two years, the winger feels he always had the talent to reach the top.
“Deep down inside me, I knew I could do great,” he said. “I already did well last year, but I was not a player who shone under pressure.
“I did not score enough or give enough assists. I have improved on that point and am more efficient now. It is due to my work but also to the team’s overall improvement. I feel great in this team, and I feel my team-mates trust me more.”