Algerian star Riad Mehrez, in the semi-final second leg of the Champions League, ignited social media sites in many Arab countries.
Mahrez led his Manchester City team to victory over Paris Saint-Germain, by scoring the only two goals of the match and qualifying for the final for the first time in the club’s history.
The Algerian star scored the winning goal for his team in the first leg, becoming the first Arab player to score back and forth in the Champions League semi-finals.
Pride of the Arabs
Mahrez’s name occupied the top of the trend at the end of the match, and his name was associated with the phrase “pride of the Arabs” that was repeated by many to describe the player’s brilliance and his great contribution to his club’s reaching the final and entering history.
However, the phrase “Arab pride” had previously been applied to the Egyptian star and Liverpool club Mohamed Salah, which prompted many to make a comparison between the two stars in an attempt to find out who is the most deserving and worthy of this title.
Many Algerians and commentators praised the level presented by Mehrez and composed poems for him.
Others said that Arabs should be proud of Mahrez just as they were proud of Salah before.
On the other hand, fans of the Egyptian star demanded respect for Salah’s achievements and his numbers.
May believed that the Algerians have the right to feel proud of the level presented by Mahrez, but it is not permissible to underestimate what Salah does and the achievements he has achieved.
Nasser considered that Salah has more eligibility for the title by virtue of his achievement of many records and individual awards and his excellence of continuity.
On the other hand, many leaned towards the middle and considered both players to be the pride of their countries and the Arab countries.
Many quoted the words of the sports broadcaster, Hisham Al-Khulasi, who asked: “What prevents Mehrez’s saying of Arab pride and Salah’s pride of Arabs, when Salah does not star in a match that Mahrez sparkles, they are the pride of the Arabs.”
Figures and statistics
Salah won the African Player of the Year award twice, in 2017 and 2018, while Mahrez won that award once in 2016.
In terms of goals, Salah has a greater scoring record after winning the Premier League top scorer title for two consecutive seasons 2017/18 and 2018/19.
This year, Riyad Mahrez contributed 6 goals in the Champions League, scoring 4 and making 3.
While Salah contributed 7 goals, scored 6 and made 1.
At the league level, Salah scored 20 goals, compared to 12 goals for a scorer.