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The 2022 Cyler Awards: Ligue 1

French football is entertaining. Feel free to come at me.

Paris Saint-Germain v FC Metz - Ligue 1 Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

Welcome one and all to the extremely prestigious 2022 Cylers! Short for the 2022 Cyler Awards, where the only valid opinion is mine (as should be the laws of the world anyway). Let’s jump straight into the awards.

Tom Starke Award: Best Goalkeeper


The Golden Glove award goes to... Montpellier HSC’s Jonas Omlin!

Some of you may already be familiar with Omlin after my mention of him in a recent Mannschaft Planen article talking about a potential Manuel Neuer replacement/backup.

(Formerly) OGC Nice’s Walter Benítez was probably the best keeper this year on a per 90 basis but he left France during the summer, and while Paris Saint-Germain’s Gianluigi Donnarumma has been fantastic this season, he was shaky at best during the latter stages of the 2021/22 season. Omlin meanwhile, was top class throughout the year.

Other than a small shaky spell this August, Omlin has been simply brilliant this year. Montpellier’s stars may have been in the midfield and attack in previous years, but the defense has always been subpar, leading to Montpellier struggling to stay afloat in the top flight despite having a Conference/Europa League level offense. However, Omlin has almost singlehandedly held down the fort when needed with excellent performances.

Dante Award: Best Defender

RC Lens v FC Lorient - Ligue 1 Uber Eats Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Our next award goes to a defender who plays as a right wing back, known for his ability to maraud down a flank at high speed, contributing offensively while not giving up on his defensive duties. It’s Achraf Haki-huh? Seems the Cylers are having technical issues in their first edition, the teleprompter is broken. Oh well, you live, you learn.

The award for best defender goes to formerly RC Lens, now Olympique Marseille’s Jonathan Clauss!

Jonathan Clauss was the guy, the most important piece to the RC Lens puzzle which led them to a fantastic eighth position by the end of the 2021/22 season, one point short of qualifying for the Europa League. Clauss is already on a goal and five assists this season with Marseille after a €7.5m move. He is a world class right wing back, simple as that.

Xabi Alonso Award: Best Midfielder

Montpellier V Strasbourg. Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

The award for best midfielder goes to Montpellier’s Téji Savanier!

A second Montpellier player? Wow, they really must be a force in France. Or maybe I’m just a closeted Montpellier fan letting out my biases here.

Montpellier have had two fantastic players and then a whole lot of nothing else, which explains why they’ve finished right in the middle of the pack. Savanier has been balling out of control this year. He was by far the best midfielder in the league last season and has continued to be in great form. Savanier has five goals and an assist already this season, to go along with his very productive previous season. Savanier’s presence in the middle is not defensively accomplished but it is astute, playing as the 10 in a 4-2-3-1 and pressing effectively in a role similar to Antoine Griezmann’s for France at the World Cup this season. His eye for goal is especially what catches me, he loves a late run into the box past the striker into the last line.

Franck Ribéry Award: Best Attacker

Paris Saint-Germain Vs Metz, French Ligue 1 regular season. Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Kylian Mbappé has been less productive than his two partners in attack this season with ‘just’ 13 goals and two assists this season so far but that’s still a great return, and paired with him being just ridiculous during the first half of the year, he takes the spot here.

All the pace, all the clever shots and all the crybaby attitude. No matter the character, there is no denying he is one of the best players in the world. There really isn’t a lot more to say here.

The Cyler d’Or: Player of the Year

Paris Saint-Germain Vs Metz, French Ligue 1 regular season. Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

The winner of the Ligue 1 Cyler d’Or 2022 is.. of course, Lionel Messi.

I’m honestly tired of praising Messi, this is the third article in the last month that has ended with me gushing over him. He has seven goals and ten assists this season after a very productive first half of the season, which saw him regaining his elite form after a dip during the latter stages of 2021. He may not have deserved the 2021 Ballon d’Or but he fully deserves the 2023 Ballon d’Or (so far anyway).

What do you think of my picks? Can I finally escape this endless cycle of having to praise a player I really don’t like? Let us know in the discussion forum below.

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