As reported by the French sports daily, L’Équipe have named PSG’s 23-year-old forward Kylian Mbappé as the most important person in French football for 2022 in an annual list of the Top 30 most influential people in the French game.
After his return to the French national team, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema placed second, jumping up 18 places. Lionel Messi was the highest new entry at number three.
Last year’s winner, referee Stéphanie Frappart, dropped to 18th while Christophe Galtier’s title win with Lille saw him rise to fourth from seventh. Neymar was the only non-mover in the list at eighth.
Having inherited the chair of the European Club’s Association after the Super League farce, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi rose seven places to 12th while fellow club officials fell down the list. Jean-Michel Aulas of Lyon dropped to 26th from 18th while PSG sporting director Leonardo fell out of the list entirely having been 13th last year.
Teenage midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, following his move to Real Madrid, surprisingly was not ranked having finished 14th last year, the same fate befell Olivier Giroud, Adrian Rabiot and Kingsley Coman who placed 17th, 24th and 25th respectively last season.
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba (14th) was one of 16 names to be included having missed out last time. Lille striker Burak Yilmaz entered at 11th, Lens coach Franck Haise placed 7th and Thierry Henry, now domestic Ligue 1 rights holder Amazon Prime’s lead pundit, placed 23rd.