The UNFP's official Ligue 1 Uber Eats Team of the Season has been released, with Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé perhaps unsurprisingly among the selection. Who else made the cut?
It has been a thrilling season in Ligue 1 Uber Eats this term, with RC Lens and Olympique de Marseille pushing Paris Saint-Germain all the way to their record 11th French top-flight title.
Mbappé has scored the most goals (28), whilst picking up his fourth Player of the Season award, and he is joined by four PSG teammates in this list. Lens are just as well represented. Ligue1.com takes a closer look…
Brice Samba returned to French football from Nottingham Forest at the start of the season, joining Lens on a five-year contract. Fifteen clean sheets and a France call-up later, and the goalkeeper has helped les Sang et Or qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 21 years as PSG's closest challengers.
PSG's flying right-back Achraf Hakimi takes his place in the Team of the Season back four after a campaign which has seen five goals and three assists from his 27 games, 22 of which have been starts. He also helped Morocco become the first African team to reach the FIFA World Cup semi-finals in December.
Watch: Hakimi's stunning strike against Toulouse
That Mbemba has matched Hakimi for goals from the right-hand side of Marseille's back three speaks volumes for the Congolese's ability to impact the game from his relatively deeper starting position. Mbemba's form is part of the reason Eric Bailly's loan move from Manchester United was allowed to remain exactly that.
Playing at the heart of his side's back three, Danso has been the defensive lynchpin upon which Lens have built their unlikely title tilt. Averages one block and two aerial battles won per game, and is a large part of the reason Lens boast the league's most miserly defence, with just 28 goals conceded.
Lining up on the opposite flank to Hakimi at the Parc des Princes, Nuno Mendes has only scored once, but assisted five more on PSG's way to their 11th league title. It is easy to forget that the marauding Portuguese is still only 20, and the futures of Juan Bernat and Layvin Kurzawa at PSG look bleak because of his rise.
OGC Nice stuttered this season before Lucien Favre was replaced by Didier Digard, before les Aiglons spread their wings in the second half of the campaign, but Khéphren Thuram was consistently excellent. The younger son of France's record cap-holder Lilian Thuram, Khéphren has averaged three shot-creating actions per game - not bad for a nominal defensive midfielder!
If Thuram is now given license to get forward by Nice, Valentin Rongier is tasked with holding things together in the heart of Marseille's midfield. Assisted Dimitri Payet when les Phocéens were edged 2-1 by Lens in their European six-pointer at the start of May, and has, for all intents and purposes, succeeded the veteran as club captain.
Seko Fofana is the midfield engine around whom the rest of Lens' impressive season has been built. Scored the opener in the aforementioned win over Marseille, whilst his three progressive carries per game are among the best in the division. A Manchester City academy graduate who made his name at Udinese, Fofana's talents deserve to be seen on the Champions League stage.
Perhaps the greatest footballer of all time, Lionel Messi could be playing his last season with PSG - but if it is, he has made sure it has been one to remember. Led Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar, and has 32 goal-involvements at a rate of one every 86 minutes he has played for the Ligue 1 Uber Eats champions-elect.
Another new face at Lens at the start of the campaign, Loïs Openda hit the ground running at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, and scored the league's fastest hat-trick in 50 years with a four minute 30 second three-goal haul against Clermont Foot 63. That three of his 20 goals came against AS Monaco, and his former Club Brugge manager Philippe Clement - who never gave him a chance in Belgium - was particularly sweet.
If Messi is the greatest player of all time, he doesn't have to look too far for whom his heir might be. Kylian Mbappé scored a hat-trick before France were edged by Argentina in the World Cup final and will surely win a Ballon d'Or or two once Messi is gone. The top scorer this season with 28 goals and the UNFP Player of the Season for the fourth time, the sky is the limit for the PSG talisman - and he is staying for at least another season.