Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez has selected his dream five-a-side team, which includes potential future teammate Lionel Messi.
The Algerian international has been linked with a move to Barcelona this summer, so it’s perhaps not surprising that he has expressed his admiration for their record goalscorer.
In a team bursting with flair and creativity, Mahrez made sure to include former Leicester teammate N’Golo Kante in his Unscriptd lineup…
5. GK: Gigi Buffon
Few would look much further than Gigi Buffon as the perfect man between the sticks for a five-a-side team.
The veteran goalkeeper is set for his 17th Juventus season, and will be looking to finally lift his first, elusive Champions League trophy.
Mahrez is clearly aware of the reliability of the long-serving Italy international, who he simply described as an “experienced keeper”. He’ll do.
4. DF: N’Golo Kante
He may be slightly out of position, but the thought of N’Golo Kante relentlessly pursuing the ball in the constraints of a small, five-a-side pitch would undoubtedly terrify the opposition.
And that’s what Mahrez must have had in mind when he made the selection. “I need a defender,” he said, before picking a midfielder. “I need someone who will stay.
“Not a defender, but I know he’s going to stay. I’m going to speak with him to stay behind.”
Well in that case, who needs Gerard Pique?
3. MF: Zinedine Zidane
A player with a touch so silky he makes Mahrez look like a non-league clogger, the great Zinedine Zidane is the pick for midfield.
Despite his attacking brilliance, his defence splitting passes and ferocious long-range shooting, Mahrez revealed that the Frenchman would be sitting deep and dictating the play.
“Zidane will stay more deep with N’Golo.” That’s certainly a formidable parternship, although Zidane might prefer to control things from the sidelines nowadays.
2. FW: Riyad Mahrez
Who else but the man himself? Mahrez couldn’t help but include himself in his dream team, and it’s difficult to begrudge him that.
Particularly when considering who he’d be playing alongside, and who’d be providing the service from behind.
There was no need for justification. “Me,” he simply said, before revealing who he would partner in attack.
1. FW: Lionel Messi
It’s a no-brainer really, but Lionel Messi is indeed the man who would lead the line, alongside Mahrez.
“Messi and me,” Mahrez said. “Left foot, left foot.” You get the feeling he’s imagined this scenario before.
“Zidane is going to give us the ball, and N’Golo stays behind. Safe.”
“And we’ll kill everyone,” he added, menacingly.