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The 2022/23 Season Awards: Ligue 1

If only QSG dropped another game, we could have had the unlikeliest of champions.

Paris Saint-Germain v Clermont Foot - Ligue 1 Uber Eats Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the 2022/23 season awards! The previous edition was held for the calendar year of 2022 (and rather egotistically named the Cyler awards), but the awards are now being re-formatted to cover the 2022/23 club season. Let the awards begin, starting as they always did (in the one previous time the awards have been held) in France!

Tom Starke Award: Best Goalkeeper


For the second ceremony in a row, the Tom Starke award falls in the hands of Montpellier’s number one... Benjamin Lecomte!

Lecomte started the season at RCD Espanyol in Spain and wasn’t impressive, but after Jonas Omlin was sold to Borussia Mönchengladbach, Montpellier brought Benjamin Lecomte back to the club, and it was a season-defining transfer for them. Montpellier conceded 46 goals in the 19 games they were without Lecomte, but conceded only 18 in the 19 games Omlin played, an unreal return. The defense was consistently inconsistent, but Lecomte was their saviour.

Dante Award: Best Defender

RC Lens v Stade de Reims - Ligue 1 Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

RC Lens retain their hold upon the Dante award too, with the heir to Jonathan Clauss being... Przemyslaw Frankowski!

The Polish wing-back was simply electric throughout the season. Frankowski was one of the best wide creators in the league alongside Clauss and Nuno Mendes, the majority of Lens’ attacks originating from deep courtesy of him. Frankowski was defensively unbelievable too, holding down the right side almost alone all the time against multi-man overloads and 4-4-2 flat fours. What a player.

Xabi Alonso Award: Best Midfielder

Paris Saint-Germain v FC Lorient - Ligue 1 Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

This was perhaps the most tightly contested of all the awards, with Téji Savanier, Benjamin André, Branco van den Boomen and Seko Fofana all putting up an extremely close race with the eventual winner: FC Lorient’s Enzo Le Fée!

Enzo Le Fée is perhaps the most complete player in the entire league. His tackling, interceptions and pressing were simply fantastic. His ability to create chances both from deep with penetrative passing and from advanced positions with simple through balls were unparalleled in France, and to top it all off Le Fée could create magic by himself with some great close control dribbling in tight spaces and the ability to shoot from deep, both from open play and from set pieces. He genuinely just is a slightly less good Joshua Kimmich with better dribbling ability, thank god Borussia Dortmund didn’t get him.

Franck Ribéry Award: Best Attacker

Paris Saint-Germain v Clermont Foot - Ligue 1 Uber Eats Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Honourable mention must go to Olympique Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette who drove the eventual winner right until the very end in the race for the league’s top scorer award. The winner of the Franck Ribéry award is... Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé!

Our first ever player to defend his award successfully, the French captain netted 29 times and assisted a further 5 as the tip of Christophe Galtier’s attacking spear. While he may have been absent in build up, his presence at the top was a real boon to PSG’s play, as the team seemed toothless without him against top teams despite the presence of two other world class attackers. Simply put, a team with creators but no finisher is no team at all. Mbappé was the finisher in France.

Le Cyler d’Or: France’s Player of the Year

Paris Saint-Germain v Clermont Foot 63 - Ligue 1 Uber Eats Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

The winner of France’s Cyler d’Or is... Paris Saint-Germain’s Lionel Messi!

The Argentine was simply brilliant for PSG. While he didn’t have the most goal contributions in the league, Messi was simply imperious in every game he set foot in. The Argentine had a perfect record: 32 appearances, 32 goal contributions, split exactly evenly between goals and assists. There really isn’t anything I can say about Messi’s game that you haven’t heard before. Whether it was as part of a two-striker system alongside Mbappé, playing as part of a front three alongside Neymar Jr or playing as a 10 sat behind the aforementioned duo, Messi simply could not be contained by his opposition (unless that opposition was named Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich). It wasn’t his best season, but it was still better than anyone else’s.

What do you think of our picks? Is there anyone you would have picked instead? Let us know in the discussion below.

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