Football News

“All the players were laughing at him” – Mendy tells the story of his first training session with Riyad Mahrez

By Steve Jennings

Published: 8:53, 28 February 2020

Benjamin Mendy has revealed Riyad Mahrez was ribbed by his teammates during the pair’s first training session together at Le Havre but went on to stun everyone with his quality.

The duo now play together at Manchester City, winning plenty of silverware under Pep Guardiola since making big-money moves from Monaco and Leicester City respectively.

When were Mendy and Mahrez teammates before Man City? Five things to know…

  • Both Mendy and Mahrez made their career breakthroughs at French club Le Havre.
  • They made 62 combined Ligue 2 appearances for the club in 2012/13.
  • Mendy left for Marseille in the summer of 2013, just months before Mahrez joined Leicester City.
  • The duo then teamed up with Guardiola at Manchester City in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
  • And Mendy has now recalled a funny anecdote of how Mahrez was late for his first day of Le Havre training.

Earlier in his career, Mahrez joined Le Havre, where he would become teammates with Mendy for the first time.

And Mendy has admitted a young Mahrez silenced the mockery of his fellow players after an interesting first day on the Le Havre training pitch.

“The first day he came to training, he was late,” Mendy recounted in an interview with FourFourTwo.

“We see this skinny guy, not strong, and think, ‘What are you doing here? Maybe you own the place?’ On his first day, the boss says, ‘You need to run, two laps around the pitch.’

“Because he was late, Riyad ran them too fast while we were just stretching, and all the players were laughing at him. ‘What is this guy doing?!’

“Eventually, we asked him who he was and where he was from. Then the next day at training… sick. So, so good.”

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Mendy has struggled with injuries during his time at City but has still won two Premier League titles at the Etihad, while Mahrez contributed to last season’s silverware with 12 goals across all competitions.

It’s safe to say both players have enjoyed a monumental rise in stature since playing in the French second division as recently as 2013.

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