Paris Saint-Germain unsurprisingly lead the way in Ligue 1’s end-of-season National Union of Professional Football Players (UNFP) awards nominations, with Neymar, Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and the departing Unai Emery all up for individual gongs.
PSG have enjoyed a marvellous season domestically, having cruised to Ligue 1 success already and could yet make their 20-point cushion at the summit even more comfortable.
Emery’s side have scored 104 goals in the process, while only conceding 23 in what has been one of the most emphatic title triumphs in French football history, hence the Spaniard’s nomination for Best Ligue 1 coach.
Many have put their form down to the pre-season recruitment which saw Neymar arrive in a world-record €222million switch from Barcelona, while Mbappe came in from last season’s title winners Monaco on a loan deal which will be made permanent for €180m.
Neymar had little difficulty with his transition and, despite not playing since the end of February due to a broken foot, his haul of 19 goals is still only bettered by team-mate Cavani, while no one has more than his 13 assists.
— UNFP (@UNFP) April 27, 2018
Cavani has perhaps been a little less effective than he was last term, but the 31-year-old has still managed to score 25 times in the league, while Mbappe – who is up for the Best Player and Best Hope awards – has 13 goals and eight assists.
The only non-PSG player up for the main award is Florian Thauvin, who has enjoyed a brilliant season with Marseille.
Thauvin, still only 25, is level with Neymar on 19 goals and has set up another 10, giving his chances of a place in France’s World Cup squad a major boost.
There was one surprise nomination in the Best French Player Abroad section, with the much-maligned Karim Benzema included.
Ligue 1 awards in full:
Best Player: Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar (all PSG), Florian Thauvin (Marseille)
Best Coach: Olivier Dall’Oglio (Dijon), Unai Emery (PSG), Rudi Garcia (Marseille), Leonardo Jardim (Monaco)
Best Goalkeeper: Alphonse Areola (PSG), Benjamin Lecomte (Montpellier), Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
Best Hope: Houssem Aouar (Lyon), Malcom (Bordeaux), Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon), Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
Best French Player Abroad: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona)
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