PSG’s Mbappé wins Ligue 1 player of the year for record fourth time

Mbappé was acclaimed by his peers in the French players’ union – UNFP – for an unprecedented fourth season on the trot for his exploits with PSG who secured their ninth Ligue 1 title in 11 years  on Saturday night.

Mbappé, 24, set up strike partner Lionel Messi for the goal at the Stade de la Meinau in Strasbourg which took the club to a record 11th top flight crown.

In PSG’s final match of the 2022/23 campaign against Clermont at the Parc des Princes, Mbappé, who has 28 Ligue 1 goals, will try to stay ahead of Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, who has scored 26 times.

“I want to thank the players, the staff, all the people working in the shadows,” said Mbappé after collecting his UNFP trophy.

Mbappé, who becomes the first player to win the award four times since its inception in 1993, added: “I’ve always wanted to leave a mark. I did not expect to win so much so early but I’m happy to make history in my country.”

Should he head the scoring charts for a fifth season, he will equal the feats of the Argentine Carlos Bianchi who turned out for Reims and PSG in the mid 1970s and also the France striker Jean-Pierre Papin who thrashed in 121 goals for Marseille in his reign at the top of the lists between 1988 and 1992.

Lens hailed

Franck Haise was named best coach of the season after leading RC Lens to second place and automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League.

“It’s the story of three seasons … those who are not n this adventure anymore, I don’t forget you,” said Haise, who took over the first team when they were in Ligue 2 in 2020.

“What we’ve been through is unforgettable,” added the 52-year-old Frenchman who will guide the club’s first campaign in European football’s most prestigious tournament for the first time in 21 years.

Lens also had four players in the team of the season. Brice Samba, who won the award for best goalkeeper of the season, defender Kevin Danso, midfielder Seko Fofana and striker Lois Openda.

PSG also had four players selected: Mbappé, Messi as well as defenders Nuno Mendes and Achraf Hakimi.

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