The Algerian national coach, Djamel Belmadi, announced the objectives of the Fennecs for the coming year, in a long interview given to Algerian television. He also expressed himself on some elements of his selection. On the subject of his captain, Riyad Mahrez, Belmadi said that the Algerian winger is not happy with his situation with Manchester City.
Reigning African champions and unbeaten in 21 matches, Algeria is aiming to qualify for the next major world event, which is scheduled to take place in the Persian Gulf. National coach Djamel Belmadi has once again confirmed that the main objective of Les Fennecs is to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. « The 2022 World Cup is our main objective. We have to do everything we can to qualify. Our concern at the moment is to improve this selection by trying not to make the same mistakes as in the past, » he said.
« In the same vein, we are looking for other players likely to give a plus to the National Team, whether those who play in the local championship or those who play abroad, even if I admit that places are very expensive at the moment in the selection, » said Belmadi, whose team shares Group A of the World Cup qualifiers, along with Burkina Faso, Niger and Djibouti. This qualification campaign will start in June.
The case of Riyad Mahrez…
Djamel Belmadi also mentioned the case of Riyad Mahrez. Again this season, the captain of the Algerian national team is not an indisputable starter in the squad of Pep Guardiola who very regularly makes a turnover in his starting eleven. « Mahrez is not happy in Manchester because he does not play often, but he is a competitor who wants to play all the matches of his team, » said the coach of the Algerian national team, Djamel Belmadi.
« I can’t ask him to leave his club to play for another team for a longer period of time. I am not his manager, but the most important thing is that he maintains his form and is ready for the next national team matches. Mahrez is our captain, I understand the fears of the fans. But in my opinion, he has the qualities to bounce back again, I trust him, » he explained.
Riyad Mahrez has not played many matches with Manchester City since the beginning of the current season. Indeed, the African champion has only 11 times played for Pep Guardiola in 21 Premier League games. In the group phase of the Champions League, the Algerian played three matches as a titular. In 25 matches in all competitions with the Skyblues this season, the 29-year-old has scored 6 goals and provided 3 assists.