Ligue 1 Team of the Season: Mbappe and Neymar shine for PSG as Pepe breaks through

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Paris Saint-Germain ran out Ligue 1 winners for the second successive season, but there were impressive performers elsewhere

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    Mike Maignan | Lille

    Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan has enjoyed a standout season, which has been recognised by France coach Didier Deschamps, who has called him up for the June international fixtures.

    The former PSG youth has proven to be highly reliable for Christophe Galtier’s side, showing the type of consistency that has him tipped to be Les Bleus’ No.1 on a long-term basis.

    LOSC finished the season with the best defence in the league, conceding only 30 times, and they owe much to their shot-stopper, who has a particular speciality in saving penalties.

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    Kenny Lala | Strasbourg

    One of the revelations of the season in Ligue 1 this term, the Strasbourg full-back can count himself unlucky not to have been awarded a call up to the France side.

    He was used primarily as a left-sided wing-back in a 3-5-2 formation, which played to his offensive strengths. Over the course of the season, he scored five times and created nine more, finishing outright fourth for assists for all players in Ligue 1.

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    Marquinhos | PSG

    Paris Saint-Germain signed Marquinhos from Roma in 2013 with the expectation that he would grow into one of Europe’s best defensive players, and that has proven to be the case as he turned in another redoubtable season.

    Not only did the Brazilian enjoy another solid campaign in the heart of the rearguard at Parc des Princes, he was used by Thomas Tuchel as a defensive midfielder and grew impressively into that role, too.

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    Thiago Silva | PSG

    Will turn 35 in September, but the former AC Milan man is just as classy as ever.

    A rock-steady performer in the heart of the PSG defence, it is unusual to see him make an error, particularly at Ligue 1 level. No-one in the league who made at least 1000 passes had a higher completion rate.

    He is currently fighting a race against time to be fit for Brazil’s Copa America campaign, which might be the last chance he has to participate in a major tournament.

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    Juan Bernat | PSG

    Signed with little fanfare from Bayern Munich last summer, Juan Bernat was one of the most consistent performers in Le Championnat over the course of the campaign.

    Was a veritable Swiss army knife for Thomas Tuchel as he was used in a variety of positions and had a particular knack of popping up with important goals, especially in the Champions League. The 26-year-old Spaniard is now the club’s starting left-back.

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    Marco Verratti | PSG

    If the Italian continues to have his critics over his unimpressive statistics – he managed only two assists and failed to score a single Ligue 1 goal this season, all the while picking up seven bookings – his value to the PSG team continues to be enormous.

    Sets the tempo for their game, is tenacious defensively and allows the club’s superstar attackers to do their thing.

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    Teji Savanier | Nimes

    At the start of the campaign, long odds would have been offered on a Nimes player making the Ligue 1 Team of the Season, yet it is impossible to overlook what 27-year-old Teji Savanier has achieved in his first top-flight season.

    A scorer of eight goals, he is also heading into the closing weekend of action with more assists to his name than any other player in the division with 12. Likely to be on the move this summer.

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    Thiago Mendes | Lille

    Like Marco Verratti, Lille midfielder Thiago Mendes is not someone who posts astonishing numbers and yet is vital to the success of their team.

    Only 12 players had more Ligue 1 passes than the Brazilian this season, and while his accuracy is lower than that of the PSG player, he is somewhat more ambitious in his play. That is reflected in the four assists he picked up this season, although he failed to find the net.

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    Nicolas Pepe | Lille

    In most years, Nicolas Pepe would have been named Ligue 1 Player of the Season for what he has achieved with Lille this term.

    An astonishing 22 goals in France’s top flight have been dovetailed with 11 assists – both better figures than Eden Hazard managed as LOSC won the title – to help the club into second.

    Europe’s major clubs are salivating over the prospect of signing him this summer, with that particular race set to dominate headlines in the weeks to come.

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    Kylian Mbappe | PSG

    Only Lionel Messi has scored more goals than Kylian Mbappe in Europe’s major five leagues this season – and had it not been for a couple of bouts out due to suspension the young Frenchman might just have pinched his first Golden Boot.

    However, he has 32 goals to his name from 28 matches plus another six assists, and he has firmly established himself as his club’s leading star.

  11. LIONEL BONAVENTURE

    Neymar | PSG

    In some ways, this was another season of frustration for Neymar, who suffered another significant foot injury that cost him the opportunity to play in arguably the most important portion of the campaign.

    Despite this adversity, he has still managed to score an impressive 15 goals from 17 matches, doing so in only 1439 minutes. Additionally, he chipped in with seven assists. Surely one of the most marketable players in the world will have better luck next year?