Paris Saint-Germain duo Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe have been nominated for the UNFP Ligue 1 ‘Player of the Year award for the 2022/23 season.
Both men have played a starring role for PSG this season, with their goals and assist contributions pushing the Parisians tantalisingly close to the Ligue 1 title.
As confirmed on the UNFP official website, the list also includes RC Lens teammates Lois Openda and Seko Fofana and Lille’s Jonathan David.
French superstar Mbappe has won the award the last three times and is set to clinch it again this year after registering 26 goals and five assists in 31 league games this season.
Meanwhile, Mbappe’s teammate Lionel Messi is also a strong contender to win the award following his record of 15 goals and as many assists in 29 Ligue 1 games.
23-year-old Lens forward Openda also has a solid case to win the award after a stellar campaign where he has spearheaded his side’s unlikely title charge. The Belgian has scored 19 times in 35 Ligue 1 games for Lens.
Meanwhile, his teammate Seko Fofana has been the heartbeat of Lens’s midfield. The Ivory Coast international has helped the climb up to second in the league standings, where they sit just six points behind after 35 games.
Lille’s Jonathan David completes the list after another stellar campaign in front of goal. The 23-year-old Canadian centre-forward has scored 21 goals and provided four assists in 34 Ligue 1 games this season.
Meanwhile, Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette is a notable absentee after a productive campaign with Lyon. The former Arsenal striker has scored 25 times in the league this season, one goal behind Mbappe in the league’s top scorers.
While Lacazette is a notable absentee, the presence of Messi on the list could surprise many, given his recent travails in the French capital. The Argentina international’s relationship with PSG fans has deteriorated, and there are growing calls for him to leave the club. But given that he sits joint first in goal contributions (30:goals 15 and 15 assists), he certainly deserves to be named among the best players.
According to Fotmob, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has the highest rating in Ligue 1 this season, with an 8.21 average rating in games. He also sits second in the list of most shots on target per 90 minutes (4.1 shots), while he has created the most big chances this season in Ligue 1 (26).