Eden Hazard successfully defended his title: the Belgian playmaker of OSC Lille is once again voted as the Best Player in the French Ligue 1. The 21-year old Hazard was chosen by his peers - the professional footballers in France - and the coaches.
It was the 21ste time that the French professional footballers association UNFP organized the Trophées UNFP – the awards for the best players in France.
In this 21-year history, it was just the second time that a player retained his title. Eden Hazard followed in the footsteps of Pedro Miguel Pauleta, the former Portuguese striker who once thrilled France by scoring many goals for Paris Saint-Germain and Girondins Bordeaux. Pauleta won the award in 2002 and 2003.
Hazard beat Paris Saint-Germain’s forward Nenê and both Montpellier’s midfielder Younès Belhanda and striker Oliver Giroud. The attacking midfielder scored 17 goals and distributed 15 assists for France’s number three team Lille. At the awards ceremony, Hazard announced that he will leave Lille this summer and move to Manchester. He did not mention which club in Manchester…
Younès Belhanda did also win a Trophée UNFP: the Moroccan was voted Top Prospect, an award that Hazard received in 2009 and 2010.
Hugo Lloris was named Best Goalkeeper. It was the third Trophée UNFP for the goalkeeper of Olympique Lyonnais and the national team of France: a record.
René Girard, the manager of current league leaders Montpellier, was voted Coach of the Year.
There were more awards for Montpellier, as they have four players in the Ligue 1 Team of the Season. Lille is represented by three players.
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris (Lyon) ;
Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Lille), Nicolas NKoulou (Olympique Marseille), Victorino Hilton (Montpellier), Henri Bedimo (Montpellier);
Midfielders: Antonio Mavuba (Lille), Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Younès Belhanda (Montpellier), Eden Hazard (Lille)
Forwards: Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Nenê (Paris)
- Published: 15 May 2012