GFFN AWARDS | The Winners

After publishing our Ligue 1 Team of the Year, we round off our annual awards season with the winners of our individual categories, a week on from the end of a campaign that’s thrown up more than a few surprises.

As was the case for last season’s awards, your votes over the past few weeks have been weighted 50/50 with the GFFN team’s picks to select the winners in each category. 

GFFN Ligue 1 Player of the Year – Kevin Danso

The league’s top scorer and title winner Kylian Mbappé would have been the obvious pick here – and the Frenchman did indeed win player of the year at the UNFP awards for the fourth time in a row. However, the Austrian has managed to be the standout performer in the best defence in the league (an honourable mention goes to his backline partners in Jonathan Gradit and Facundo Medina. In his second season with the Sang et Or, the former Southampton man has played every minute of a campaign that saw his team push PSG all the way and go within one point of the title. His imposing presence in duels and incisive passes have made him integral to the all-action, rapid-transitions approach Franck Haise’s team takes on. His only mistake of note was being pressed off the ball by Alexis Sánchez early in the game against Marseille – luckily for him, the Chilean’s subsequent goal was ruled.  A spotless season otherwise – and it’s no surprise that he has attracted interest from the Premier League and beyond for a summer move.

GFFN Ligue 1 Manager of the Year – Franck Haise

The main architect of Lens’ journey from Ligue 2 to the Champions League group stages. Despite rumours on his immediate future, it would be difficult to see the northerners line up for their first continental match in September without Haise on the bench. He has been at the club for over 6 years – climbing the ranks from youth team coach to general manager – and has instilled a style of play that accurately reflects the particularly fervent support that the club enjoys in the former mining region. No Ligue 1 manager is so publicly in tune with his players and the fans than Haise – the best of example of that being his chanting after beating eventual champions Paris Saint-Germain at home back in January. An honourable mention should go to Clermont’s Pascal Gastien, who has squeezed a top-half finish out of one of Ligue 1’s lowest budgets, including 8 wins in 10 to close out the season.

GFFN Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year – Elye Wahi

The Arsenal target notched 19 goals this season, including a 15-minute quadruple away to Lyon (although he still ended up on the losing side, after Alexandre Lacazette replicated that performance soon afterwards). The Montpellier forward was the first teenager to score 20 Ligue 1 goals since none other than Kylian Mbappé, but is not expected to stay in France for much longer, as La Paillade are now resigned to letting him go this summer. Wahi beats out a crowded field that included Nice midfielder and French international Khéphren Thuram, as well as PSG left-back Nuno Mendes.

GFFN Best Frenchman Abroad – Antoine Griezmann

Now back at Atlético Madrid, the 32-year-old has enjoyed something of a renaissance season, scoring 15 and assisting another 17 for Los Colchoneros. The latter statistic is particularly telling of the creative talents that have increasingly been on show – in particular in his midfield performances with France. Despite a disappointing performance in the final, Griezmann was arguably the player of the tournament until then. Bounced back from the disappointment of missing out on the national team captaincy by scoring early on against The Netherlands back in March – fittingly, assisted by newly-named skipper Kylian Mbappé.

GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin

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