This season saw the reunion of Benjamin Mendy and Riyad Mahrez at Manchester City, five years after the France international left Le Havre to play for Marseille.
After that, the Algerian winger went onto play for Leicester, where he won the Premier League, while the left-back moved to Monaco before ending up in the north of England playing under Pep Guardiola.
During that time apart, however, the pair never lost touch, and, in a double interview with Onze Mondial, Mendy revealed that after Mahrez’s failed transfer to Manchester City in January, he told his friend: “Don’t worry, it’ll happen”.
And happen it did, this summer, even if it took a bit more time than first anticipated.
Their friendship started in 2010, when the forward, after a successful trial in April, arrived late on the first day of his time at Le Havre, having missed the train for preseason camp.
Quickly, the two clicked and quickly became inseparable, with Mahrez eventually staying at Mendy’s apartment.
Even when the defender was transferred to Marseille, he was always there for his teammate.
Mahrez explains: “It’s the little things that count. Look, at the time, I wasn’t earning that much at Le Havre. I remember that when he when to OM, he gave me his MacBook because he was going to earn more money, and he was going to buy some more.
“He gave me loads of things. He gave me suitcases filled with stuff from the France national-team. He was my guy”.
And even now, they push each other to be the best they can be, as Mendy reckons his teammate will be able to do better than his seventh place in the Ballon d’Or, especially with Pep Guardiola helping him improve every day.
As for Mahrez, he reckons the 24-year-old, either this year or the next, will be voted the best left-back in the world.