English Premiership

Ranieri urges Mahrez to aim for Ballon d'Or

2016-12-31 14:34
Riyad Mahrez (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri has called on midfielder Riyad Mahrez to take his game to the next level by aiming to win the coveted Ballon d'Or award.

After playing a key role in the Foxes' historic Premier League triumph last season, the Algeria international has struggled to match those exploits in the 2016/17 campaign.

With just three goals and two assists to his name this term, Mahrez has been performing way below the level that his manager and club's fans know he is capable of producing.

And Ranieri has urged the talented midfielder not to rest on his laurels, telling reporters: "Ronaldo and Messi won the Golden Ball and they want to win again and win again. They are always looking forward.

"Riyad won a lot of things last season, but it is not right if he is satisfied with that.

"Now he has to improve. Now he has to try to win the Ballon d'Or, like the big players.

"I need more from all the important players and for us Riyad is one of the most important players.

"When Riyad is switched on everything is fantastic."

Leicester find themselves at the wrong end of the EPL table at the halfway mark of the campaign, having collected just 17 points from 18 games.

The Foxes will be aiming to halt a three-match winless streak when they welcome an in-form West Ham to King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

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