'It was this year or never' - Mahrez on Leicester's title tilt


Riyad Mahrez feels it was a case of "this year or never" for Leicester City's remarkable tilt at the Premier League title.

Victory at Manchester United on Sunday would seal the Foxes' first top-flight title in their 132-year history, with Claudio Ranieri's side sitting seven points clear of Tottenham with three games remaining.

Mahrez has been the star of the show at the King Power Stadium, with the Algerian's haul of 17 goals and 11 assists in 34 Premier League appearances earning him the prestigious PFA Player of the Year award.

Leicester's achievements have captured the hearts and minds of football fans across the country and beyond, and Mahrez has admitted that his team-mates are aware that this chance may never come around again.

"We do not have the best players, nor the biggest budget, but our solidarity earns admiration," the 25-year-old told L'Equipe Magazine.

"We have had a bit of luck, too. It was this year or never, and until January we did not even think of the title.

"It has become possible, but we will not let it go to our heads."

Former Le Havre forward Mahrez is one of several Leicester players to have enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2015-16, with top scorer Jamie Vardy - who was playing non-league football just four years ago - and ex-Caen midfielder N'Golo Kante also being shortlisted for the PFA award.

The performances of Mahrez, Vardy and Kante have led to speculation that big-money moves could be on the cards for the trio, but Mahrez insists they - and the rest of the Leicester dressing room - have their feet on the ground.

He continued: "With N'Golo, we laugh. It's impossible in our history, even if nothing is done. Wes Morgan, our captain, was also detected later on.

"But frankly, internally, there is no difference between conventional pros and us. It's nice. Jamie Vardy and myself we have fun during matches. With him, it shows on TV more than me, but we're all casual."