Ligue 1 Team of the Season: Mbappe and Messi in after leading PSG to glory

The Ligue 1 season is destined to finish in the manner most people thought it would: with PSG on top of the standings.

Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi at PSG.

But it’s not been a cakewalk for Christophe Galtier’s side, who are set to undergo yet another summer of renovation after a title race with Lens that went down to the penultimate game of the season.

PSG were carried to success largely thanks to their individual talents rather than team synergy, so there’s little surprise Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi lead the way in our team of the season, followed by a clutch of Lens stars, many of whom have performed expertly.

Brice Samba (Lens)

There is little dispute that Brice Samba has been the best goalkeeper in Ligue 1 this season, as Lens’ tight defensive record is testimony to. Signed from Nottingham Forest last summer, he has been one of the best pieces of transfer business in France, with a national team call his reward for a brillian campaign.

Przemyslaw Frankowski (Lens)

Overlooked in the official Ligue 1 awards, the Pole has been monstrous for Lens down the right this season, not just in terms of his defensive output. Playing in a wing-back role, the 28-year-old has been a valuable offensive weapon for Lens as they have secured second spot, popping up late in the campaign with some vital goals.

Kevin Danso (Lens)

Another great piece of summer transfer business from Lens, they will do well to hold onto Danso for another season thanks to his stellar displays, which have attracted interest from Premier League clubs. It’s easy to see why, too. He is quick, strong and brave. He could excel in England if this season is anything to go by.

Yunis Abdelhamid (Reims)

Reims deserve some recognition for what has been an outstanding season, underpinned by strong defensive performance. Abdelhamid has been instrumental in this. No play in Ligue 1 has won more challenges this season.

Nuno Mendes (PSG)

Few PSG players have come out of this campaign with any credit, with young Portuguese defender Nuno Mendes a rare exception. He posts six assists for the season and would surely have more had it no been for injury, which have overlapped with arguably his side’s worst runs of form.

Khephren ThuramKhephren Thuram

Seko Fofana (Lens)

An absolute machine in the Lens midfield, Fofana typifies everything that is great about their story this season. His intensity and focus has been exceptional, but he has matched that with no little skill. He is the beating heart of this team.

Khephren Thuram (Nice)

Nice midfielder Khephren Thuram has been a player discussed as having a high ceiling for years, yet this has been the season he has realised it. While his Nice teammates may have blown hot and cold, he has enjoyed an exceptional performance throughout. Could be his last campaign in Ligue 1 as the Premier League calls.

Benjamin Bourigeaud (Rennes)

It’s been a complicated season for Rennes, who have suffered chronically through injury problems, yet Bourigeaud has been a key presence in ensuring they go into the final weeks of the campaign with European football still a possibility. Boasts five goals and, perhaps even more crucially, eight assists. Deserves wider recognition than he is given.

Alexandre Lacazette's return to Lyon was delayed after he was attacked by beesAlexandre Lacazette’s return to Lyon was delayed after he was attacked by bees

Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon)

Arsenal may well regret letting Alexandre Lacazette go last summer after seeing his performances with Lyon, where he has returned to his peak after missing some preseason training after being attacked by bees. Still has an outside chance of finishing as Ligue 1 top scorer ahead of Kylian Mbappe, having scored 27 goals this season. Netted in 22 different games – no one else has even hit 20 in this category.

Lionel Messi (PSG)

Messi’s problems at PSG have been little secret, but he has still turned in another exceptional season. He and Kevin De Bruyne are the only players to post 20 or more in terms of both goals and assists among players in Europe’s top five leagues this season. And that was despite the monumental effort of leading Argentina to the World Cup.

Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Quite simply the best player in the league. Mbappe continues to make the difference for PSG on a regular basis. Has scored 28 goals and laid on six more. Without the France star, it’s easy to imagine that the title might have escaped Christophe Galtier’s side.

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