Thierry Henry sacked, Leonardo Jardim returns and yet Monaco could still be relegated from Ligue 1

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If anything at least it hasn’t been a quiet forgettable season for Monaco. The 2017 champions and the only team to stop PSG winning the league since 2012 are in 17th place and have a realistic chance of being relegated.

Thierry Henry infamously replaced Leonardo Jardim who had guided the club to their Ligue 1 win and had done pretty much nothing wrong to be sacked in the first place. This was proven just 4 months later when Henry couldn’t even buy a win and was sacked as Monaco lay in the bottom three. He was inevitably replaced by Jardim and Monaco’s fortune swiftly turned around, well at least, for a few weeks.

It seems though that Jardim and possibly even Henry were not the root of the problem and the real problem for the club is that for many seasons they have constantly sold their best players. Run as a business Monaco have been terrific one of the best clubs in Europe, buy cheap and sell large. Clubs such as Manchester City and PSG have spent hundreds of millions acquiring the talent pool from Monaco. That is all very well and good but was it worth it to be playing in Ligue 2?

Jardim has simply not been able to turn things around enough for a club who have slumped in the past month. Their latest defeat was against newly promoted Nimes losing 1-0 and Monaco are 17th. The problem for the club is that they are only in this position on goal difference. Caen have found excellent form and have the same number of points on them on 33. And that is not all, Dijon’s victory over Strasbourg at the weekend means that they have 31 and remain a threat and there is still 2 games to play in the league.

Monaco have lost 3 of their last four games and from their last 10 games they have won just once. Their last victory came 2 months ago when they beat Lille. Indeed that has been a sticking point with the club. Their last two wins came against Lille who are 2nd and Lyon who are 3rd, but they have had a hard time beating teams just above them and around them which could ultimately be their downfall.

Will Monaco survive? Well if they finish 18th that is no longer automatic relegation in France and instead they would partake in a play off against the 3rd place Ligue 2 side to see who would be promoted and relegated. Monaco’s last two games are at home to Amiens and then away in the derby against Nice. How ironic that it is Nice who could end up sending them down?

The Amiens game then is massive and win that and that should be enough to fend off the challenge from Dijon. Plus Dijon have to play PSG away from home next, and yes whilst PSG have been in poor form, no one is expecting them to lose that match. So Dijon do look down. As for Caen that is the real worry for Monaco, since Caen would be 6th in the league on form.

Caen have to play Lyon away which is going to be incredibly tough and then finish the season with a home game against Bordeaux. It’s going to be close and both Caen and Monaco could finish on 36 points.

While the excitement of who would win Ligue 1 felt done and dusted by Christmas the relegation battle is only just heating up with 2 games to go.

Dani Alves – The worlds most decorated player after PSG win Ligue 1

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PSG won the league title in style by beating Monaco 3-1 after a Kylian Mbappe hat-trick gave the 20 year old Frenchman his 7th trophy of his career. But another story emerged as the dust settled down and the Champagne spilled at the Parc des Princes last Sunday night and that was the incredible fact that Dani Alves, PSG’s defender became the most successful player in the history of the game.

The Brazilian won his 42nd trophy which is now classified as an official record. One of those is a youth one but it is being counted. It has been an incredible haul of trophies for Alves who has won leagues in Brazil, Spain, Italy and France in a glittering career and has also won the Copa America for Brazil and 3 Champions Leagues with Barcelona. The World Cup is going to elude him, but if he stays with PSG he is likely to win even more trophies.

Indeed Alves could make it trophy no 43 as early as this weekend when PSG take on Rennes in the Coupe de France final, and if he is at the club next year, he could push that total to much more.

But what of two incredibly successful players- the players that have changed the game in the past decade, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo- and will they one day be able to take Alves crown?

Messi currently has 34 trophies overall. And by the end of the season that could be 36 if Barcelona win the league and the Copa del Rey. They are almost certain to win the league so 35 looks assured at least. Messi will be 32 when the season kicks off next and at the very top level looking at his fitness he might have another four seasons left, and perhaps he has a chance to break Alves record, but then again it depends which player will have the longest career.

As for Ronaldo he has won 28 trophies and while his fitness means he will carry on for  a few good more years yet it looks unlikely he will bother Alves incredible record.

Here is what Alves has won in a fantastic career- the question is can he get to 50 trophies?

Bahia (2001-02):

Campeonato Baiano – 2001

Copa do Nordeste – 2001, 2002

Sevilla (2002-08): 

Copa del Rey — 2006-07

Supercopa de Espana — 2007

UEFA Cup — 2005-06, 2006-07

UEFA Super Cup — 2006

Barcelona (2008-16):

La Liga — 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16

Copa del Rey — 2008–09, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2015–16

Supercopa de Espana — 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013

Champions League — 2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15

UEFA Super Cup — 2009, 2011, 2015

FIFA Club World Cup — 2009, 2011, 2015

Juventus (2016-17):

Serie A — 2016-17

Coppa Italia — 2016-17

PSG (2017-present):

Trophee des Champions — 2017

Coupe de la Ligue — 2017-18

Coupe de France — 2017-18

Ligue 1 — 2017-18, 2018-19

Brazil (2006-present):

Copa America — 2007

Confederations Cup — 2009, 2013

FIFA World Youth Championship – 2003

Ligue 1 Player of the Week: Kylian Mbappe

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Everything came together in Ligue 1 at the weekend as Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick on Sunday against his former team Monaco in Paris as PSG won the league title.

Mbappe’s 3 goals earned him more points than any other player in Ligue 1 Fantasy Football with 14. He is top of the rankings with an overall haul of 132 points and has a value of 10.5m. He is a cool 35 points in front of the next best player Nicolas Pepe who plays for Lille.

Mbappe is also the top goal scorer in Ligue 1 with 30 goals and one has to remind themselves that he is just 20 years old- oh and of course he has a World Cup already to his name. In a week where his team mate Dani Alves became the most decorated player in history with his 42nd trophy, one has to wonder if Mbappe will surpass this record. Alves is 15 years older than Mbappe and if we say that the French forward has at least another 15 years at the very top then he has plenty of time to catch him up, he currently has 7 trophies to his name.

The 20 year old has been not just the best player in Ligue 1 this week, or this season but the best player in world football in the past 12 months. One has to wonder if Ronaldo or Lionel Messi would have won world player of the year had they won a domestic treble and then the World Cup last season. Mbappe didn’t, FIFA seemed to back out of that decision based on his then age of 19. No matter it is only a question of time, perhaps this will be the year but then again PSG were knocked out of the Champions League at the round of 16 and that could affect that vote.

Mbappe has recovered well in recent weeks too- the player was dropped from he defeat at Nantes after he criticised the teams commitment on the back of drawing 2-2 with Strasbourg and then the horrific 5-1 defeat at the hands of Lille. Of course it was just a stay of execution PSG were always going to win the league, in the end it simply dragged on more than they would have liked.

He has proven to be the ultimate striker and his pace is electrifying. Against Monaco one of his runs clocked in at an a average of 38km p/h that is quicker than 100m world record holder Usain Bolt.

For his hat-trick Mbappe was set up twice by Alves and he even hit the post meaning he could have ended the night with more goals. And there is more.

In scoring 30 goals in a single season Mbappe became the first French player to reach that feat in Ligue 1 since the great Jean- Pierre Papin.

Mbappe by light years wins the Ligue 1 player of the week in reality he should be winning every other personal competition he is involved in too. An absolute star to treasure with an even greater future ahead of him.

Prove you have what it takes to challenge the best French Fantasy Football managers here www.fantasyligue1.com 

Kylian Mbappe scores a hat-trick as PSG win 8th Ligue 1 title and Champions League places are still up for grabs

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They say that things come in three’s but it took a 4th attempt for PSG to finally secure the league title in France, and in the end they didn’t even have to kick a ball.

The league was finally theirs, secured on the afternoon of Sunday when 2nd placed Lille could only draw 0-0 away against Toulouse. That draw meant that Lille could not catch PSG- not that they were ever going to anyway, but still it made it all mathematically impossible and PSG were the champions.

Whether PSG wanted it like that or not is open to debate but it was taken out of their hands given some of their surprising displays in weeks past which included folding against Lille 5-1, shocking misses in their 2-2 draw against Strasbourg and losing 3-2 to Nantes. As it was PSG played on Sunday evening and came out of their dressing rooms and onto the pitch to a party atmosphere to play Monaco, the only other team to have won a Ligue 1 title since 2013.

The game was a strange one in the fact that the PSG players really just wanted to party, they were now champions after all and Monaco seemed like the uninvited guest at a showpiece. In the end it was left to the outstanding Kylian Mbappe who scored a hat-trick to underline his greatness to the side. His 3rd goal marked his 30th in Ligue 1 and he easily tops the goal scorer charts and overall he has scored 36 goals this season which marks his finest ever.

Immediately after the game he had to predictably fend off questions that he was off to Real Madrid in the summer, denying that and confirming that he wanted to stay in Paris. Whether it’s true or not it was unfortunate he was asked such a question- if anyone deserved to be happy with a title win without distraction it was Mbappe. And there was to be more good news for PSG as Neymar and Edinson Cavani finally returned back to the squad and played some time in Paris.

Despite the league being over a race for the Champions League isn’t, and unlike, for example, the Premier League in England there is only 3 places up for grabs here. Lille in 2nd place could still in theory lose out but they won’t and at worst if a total collapse does happen they will get 3rd place and have to qualify. But with 5 games left and 15 points on the board they should finish as runners up as they are 6 points clear of Lyon.

The real excitement then is who will finish 3rd? Lyon are in pole position with 59 points but they have a genuine threat in the shape of Saint Etienne who have 56 points. The club went to Reims at the weekend and beat them 2-0 in an impressive result as Reims had not lost at home this year.

Lyon have five matches to play with only 2 at home and one of those games is a crunch match against 2nd place Lille in what should be a cracking game when the teams clash on May 5th- Lyon will be at home.

Marseille have not given up the chase for a Champions League spot as they beat Guingamp 3-1 away to put the side on 54 points and they have now won back to back games. The team remain outsiders but a Europa League spot should be secured, despite the absence of Mario Balotelli who has succumbed to injury.

Montpellier made light work of the inform Strasbourg and beat the team 3-1 to move up to 6th place. Strasbourg had just one shot on target which ended up being their goal in an otherwise disappointing game for the Coupe de la Ligue winners.

Reims poor form continued, and for a club that were in for a small chance of European football, that now looks like a distant dream after their 2-0 loss against a direct rival in Saint Etienne. Reims have now gone their last 4 games without a win and have fallen to 7th place and 8 points shy of a European finish. The famous club have recently unveiled a statue of former player Raymond Kopa- the Reims, Real Madrid and French legend is just what the club need right now.

Nice are in danger of losing their top 8 status to Nimes after Patrick Vieira’s club were shocked by 19th placed Caen as they lost 1-0 at home. It was a game that Nice dominated and Remi Walter missed a penalty early on which was clearly a sign of how the game would play out. Nimes are just 2 points behind Nice, who have to find their form, in a season that has ended prematurely for them.

Prove you have what it takes to challenge the best French Fantasy Football managers here www.fantasyligue1.com 

 

 

Ligue 1: Week 33: 11 Player Picks for the Weekend

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Another game for PSG and another chance to win the league, but they lost their game in hand over Nantes in midweek. It means that they have missed out on winning the league for the 3rd straight game. Still such is their lead that they will still win the league- they need just 1 more point from 6 games, but they have made heavy weather of it all.

Alongside PSG’s game with Monaco to possibly decide the league outcome we will take a look at the fixtures this weekend in Ligue 1 and try and pick out the players that could earn you points for your Fantasy Ligue 1 team. Formation 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Stephane Ruffier- Saint Etienne

Ruffier is valued at 7.5m and has been part of a Saint Etienne team that has conceded just 4 goals in the past month. He has also kept 3 clean sheets from the last five games as they travel to Reims this weekend he could be worth picking up.

Defender: Dante Costa- Nice

Costa has put in some great displays over the past few weeks for Nice and let’s not forget here is a team who have kept 3 clean sheets in a row. Also they will play the bottom club in Caen and will be at home, so will be favourites to pick up the points and keep another clean sheet.

Defender: Malang Sarr- Nice

Let’s stick with another Nice defender who have done so well at the back and that is none other than Malang Sarr who has also played the majority of the season. They are facing the poorest side in the league and will be at home. Sarr is great value too at just 5.5m.

Defender: Kenny Tete- Lyon

Lyon have been in poor form but at the same time surely this will not last as they try and consolidate 3rd place. They will be at home this weekend against Angers in 12th place. Tete has only played 10 games this season but has been the choice of late and is valued at 6.5m.

Defender: Diego Carlos- Nantes

It’s true that Nantes have not kept a clean sheet in over a month but that will end at some point and the club will be at home against Amiens who have only scored 8 goals away from home. There is a good chance they will get a clean sheet and Diego Carlos can score goals too, he did so in Nantes last game against PSG. He is valued at 6m.

Midfielder: Julian Draxler -PSG

Draxler has had a mixed season with PSG but he is set to play when the club take on Monaco due to injuries. He can score goals too and has netted 7 times this season and set up another 3 goals. Draxler can be bought for a bargain 6m.

Midfielder: Mathieu Debuchy- Saint Etienne

The Ligue 1 Fantasy player of the week is in good form and very confident and it’s possible that against Reims he can shine again at the weekend after scoring 2 goals. His distribution is excellent too and he can be brought into your team for 7.5m.

Midfielder: Jonathan Bamba- Lille

Jonathan Bamba has been consistent of late for Lille and he scored against PSG in Lille’s last game which they won 5-1. Lille will be away at the weekend but this is against Toulouse where they will be expected to win and he could well get on the score sheet. Bamba is valued at 7m.

Midfielder: Florian Thauvin- Marseille

Marseille will play Guingamp in 19th place and will be the odds on favourites to win this game. Thauvin has the quality to score from midfield against such opposition and if he isn’t already in your team could well be worth picking, Marseille could get a few goals in that game.

Striker: Kylian Mbappe- PSG

Mbappe was dropped from PSG’s last game v Nantes because he criticised the commitment of the team. But coach Thomas Tuchel has many injury worries and needs Ligue 1′s leading scorer. This is a game in Paris against Monaco where if they win or draw they win the league. Mbappe could score and get the winner and vital points to crown a fantastic domestic season.

Striker: Nicolas Pepe- Lille

Pepe has been one of the finest young strikers not just in Ligue 1 but in Europe this season. Lille will play Toulouse and Pepe has just scored against PSG and found his scoring boots once more. Pepe can add to his tally again at the weekend and is valued at 8m.

Prove you have what it takes to challenge the best French Fantasy Football managers here www.fantasyligue1.com 

 

 

 

 

Ligue 1: Week 32: 11 Player Picks for the Weekend

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With just 21 points left on the board most options are still open- who will finish in a Champions League place? Who can get the remaining Europa League positions and who will be relegated from Ligue 1? PSG could wrap up the title this weekend too, and below we look at the players that you should consider that have the best chance of earning points this weekend based on the fixtures. Formation 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Walter Benitez- Nice

Walter Benitez has been one of the best goalkeepers in Ligue 1 and with Nice he has not conceded a goal for over 180 minutes and just 2 in the last five games. Nice have found form and they will play away against Rennes which will not be easy but if you do not have Benitez in your team you should and the shot stopper is valued at 6.5m.

Defender: Emil Krafth- Amiens

Even though Amiens are in 17th position and have struggled for most of the season Emil Krafth has stuck out as being a good defender recently and Amiens have kept 2 clean sheets from their last 3. They play Dijon at the weekend and have every chance of keeping another one. Krafth can be brought in for 3m.

Defender: Stefan Mitrovic- Strasbourg

Strasbourg have been brilliant in recent weeks and Stefan Mitrovic could have the opportunity in defence to earn some points as the team return home to face bottom club Guingamp. The last time they were at home they beat a much better team in Reims 4-0, keeping a clean sheet. Mitrovic can be snapped up for just 3m.

Defender: Kenny Lala- Strasbourg

Keeping with another Strasbourg player is Kenny Lala, and maximum points could be earned as if expected Strasbourg beat Guingamp and keep a clean sheet. The bonus is that Lala can score goals too, and he has done so 4 times this season. Lala would cost 6m.

Defender: Daniel Congre-Montpellier

Montpellier will be at home against Toulouse and this game could give the team the right opportunity to get back on track. Montpellier have kept 2 clean sheets at home in recent weeks including their last match against Guingamp. Congre who has been a constant presence this season in the back four is valued at 6m.

Midfielder: Florent Mollet- Montpellier

Mollet has played 25 times this season and if Montpellier can put in a decent display against Toulouse which they will be expected to do Mollet could rake in the points. Added to the fact is Mollet likes to get up front and try and score goals and he has 3 so far. He can be bought for 7m.

Midfielder: Marco Verratti- PSG

Verratti is of course one of the best midfielders in his position in Europe and he can score goals too. But his role at the weekend will also be helping out the defence. PSG have a tough away game against Lille but at the same time a good display means the club will win the league. To bring Verratti in your fantasy team will cost 7m.

Midfielder: Cesc Fabregas- Monaco

Cesc Fabregas has been talking Monaco up and is training hard and adapting well. Playing at home against Reims who will have a big travel journey Monaco can start as the favourites and Fabregas may just be able to earn vital points. He is valued at 7m.

Midfielder: Florian Thauvin- Marseille

Marseille have not won a game for their last 3 matches but could get back on track when they will be at home against Nimes. Florian Thauvin can hold the midfield well against such opposition and is not afraid to earn points through scoring goals, he has an outstanding 13 so far this season and he can be snapped up for 11m.

Striker: Memphis Depay- Lyon

Lyon had  a poor result against Dijon last weekend but the club and Depay have had extra training and are focused for their game when they play Nantes who are in poor form and have lost their last 3 games. Depay has 6 goals this season which is not a great record but he usually does well against Nantes. Depay is 10.5m.

Striker: Kylian Mbappe- PSG

Mbappe was somehow benched in PSG’s last game and they didn’t win that. At the weekend they will play Lille away which won’t be easy but at the same time Mbappe will be raring to go to prove that his coach Thomas Tuchel should not drop him, even if it is to rest him. PSG can win the league at Lille who are in 2nd place and Mbappe has 27 goals this season, he is valued at 10.5m.

Prove you have what it takes to challenge the best French Fantasy Football managers here www.fantasyligue1.com 

 

 

 

 

Choupo-Moting’s stunning miss denies PSG the league title

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PSG lost their 100% record at home when they could only draw 2-2 with Strasbourg at the weekend. But that is just one story- the other is Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s extraordinary miss when the match was poised at 1-1, which almost certainly would have sealed the game in their favour and given them the league title. Now PSG will have to wait.

Strasbourg have frustrated PSG in the past- a few seasons ago Strasbourg ended PSG’s unbeaten run in the league and now the new Coupe de la Ligue winners have ended PSG’s dominance at home by becoming the first team this season to take points from them in Paris. Before the game PSG had played 15 and won 15, a stunning record.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel was still without Brazilian Neymar which was expected what wasn’t expected was that he did not start star player Kylian Mbappe, instead choosing to rest the player from the bench. That meant a rare start for once Stoke City striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

Everything was going so well for the player who opened the scoring in the 13 minute with a neat finish. At that point PSG were simply expected to stroll to victory, but Strasbourg who have been in superb form after winning the Coupe de la Ligue and then beating Reims 4-0 had not read the script.

Da Costa equalised on 26 minutes and then shock of shocks Goncalves put Strasbourg ahead just before half time. But before Goncalves got the goal to put the visitors ahead, PSG somehow were not ahead themselves.

Choupo-Moting found himself virtually on the opposition goal line, the ball crossed in perfectly and with good weight and pass he simply had to notch the ball in with the deftest of touches. Instead he somehow kicked the ball in a way that ended up looking like a nonchalant brilliant piece of defending- and fans in the stadium sat their stunned. Mbappe on the bench could not believe what he was seeing, and the opportunity was gone. In England commentators reporting on the game suggested it was the greatest miss of all time- that’s for another day and another list but it was certainly up there with the biggest controversial moments stemming from such a clear cut chance in front of goal- a real head scratcher.

Choupo-Moting has played 18 times for PSG and scored 3 goals and it is unfortunate for him that the night turned sour given that he had opened the scoring. It was of course not a reflection on the player and was just a shocking miss, a freak and it happens.

The problem for the 30 year old is such misses for the biggest clubs can be the downfall moment and it would be a surprise if Choupo-Moting is a PSG player next season given his age and the fact that he joined the club this season on a free transfer anyway. Football has shown us on countless occasions how ruthless the big clubs can be when needed.

Prove you have what it takes to challenge the best French Fantasy Football managers here www.fantasyligue1.com 

 

Topical Ligue 1: Top 4 clubs all win as PSG edge closer to 8th title

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It was a weekend which saw all top four clubs in Ligue 1 pick up victories, and so not much changed in the standings.

PSG are ever closer to winning the league, and it is just a question of when and not if as they hold a massive 20 point lead at the top over Lille, and they have a game in hand. Just 4 more points will secure yet another trophy for the club, their 8th in their history and 6th this decade alone.

PSG were at least made to work hard for their win which ended 1-0 against Toulouse and it was that man Kylian Mbappe who got the winner with just a quarter of an hour left to play. Mbappe now has 27 goals this season and is 9 goals ahead of second place Nicolas Pepe. Not only will Mbappe be assured of a 3rd league title- 2 with PSG and 1 with Monaco he will also win the top goal scorers award too.

Lille kept up in the chase as they were involved in a very entertaining game at lowly Nantes to win a 5 goal thriller 3-2. And Pepe was able to score again, one of the brightest stars in European football has really shown just how good he is and it seems questionable if Lille will be able to hold on to him. Perhaps he will stay if they qualify for the Champions League. However Lyon are right behind Lille and just four points shy as they try to grab 2nd place. Lyon beat Rennes 1-0 at the weekend thanks to a Martin Terrier goal.

In 4th place Saint Etienne are just too far behind Lille or Lyon to challenge for that last remaining Champions League place. They are currently 7 points behind Lyon with 8 games to go so it is possible but that dream looks distant. They did beat Nimes 2-1 to keep themselves in contention of  a top 4 place though.

The big surprise involving the top clubs came earlier on the weekend when at home Marseille could only draw 2-2 with Angers and dropped two vital points in the process. Mario Balotelli who has been outstanding for the club grabbed both early goals to put his side 2-0 up and they were cruising but had a terrible and lacklustre second half to collapse.

Marseille’s draw which in retrospect felt like a loss has let in Reims who had the weekend off because of the Coupe de la Ligue final. They will play Strasbourg away from home this midweek and if they win Reims will go past Marseille and into 5th place. Nice beat Dijon 1-0 but did make heavy work of it in an otherwise dull game which saw the hosts reduced to 10 men. Dijon are bottom of the league and will most certainly be relegated while Nice remain in 7th place.

Finally Montpellier also didn’t play because of the Coupe de la Ligue final and they will play in midweek against the losers Guingamp. Montpellier will be at home against a team feeling very sorry for themselves and the home side will feel they can win this game. If so it would take them past Nice and create a bigger gap to Rennes. Having said that Montpellier have only won 1 game in their past five at home.

Prove you have what it takes to challenge the best French Fantasy Football managers here www.fantasyligue1.com 

PSG will win the league but the owners and fans crave for more

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PSG chalked up their 26th win of the Ligue 1 season from 29 games to reach the 80 point mark at the weekend after beating Toulouse 1-0. They need just 4 points from their next 8 games to confirm their 7th league title in 8 years and of course it is just a matter of time before they do it. But let’s be honest since November it has been when not if when referring to PSG’s league title.

Thomas Tuchel has had a walk in the park, or so that is what many people will tell you. On reflection this has been an easy league title win, but does such a term truly exist? PSG have had to work incredibly hard for their results, something a passing fan of football would not see. Yes they have had some easy victories and fantastic results but there have also been battles which they have got themselves into winning games by one goal margins like 2-1 or 1-0, that could have easily have gone the other way. PSG have by far been the best team in the league but they have also had to work for it.

Take for example how they exited the Coupe de la Ligue, in Paris against the then bottom team Guingamp. Nobody could have seen that result coming, and before anyone thinks that France’s 2nd cup competition is not taken seriously by PSG look at the past five winners- all won by PSG. No complacency was the key in that defeat and the word should be used as a positive to all of the mega rich clubs out there. The reason these teams do not lose is down to not having complacency, otherwise as a general rule they would sweep up every game and competition they enter.

So PSG will win the league and the streets of Paris will cheer on their heroes, and yet there is the white elephant on the Champs Elysees the very same one that has stood there shrugging its shoulders and downing its trunk- where is that Champions League trophy?

Owners and fans will be delighted with another dominant Ligue 1 win and Thomas Tuchel’s job is safe for this season. But it was beyond disappointing for PSG to get knocked out this season against Manchester United when they were in total control of the match. And it has been the same year in year out for the club, sure fire victories snatched away by Barcelona and Real Madrid line the memories.

PSG have been called bottlers in the Champions League that is wrong and cruel on every level. But they do need to step up and realise that a knock out round is rarely ever decided in one leg. Repeated disappointments in Europe mean that whilst victory in Ligue 1 should be celebrated it may actually be quite muted by the owners of the club until Europe if ever comes calling.

Five players that Zinedine Zidane will want to buy in the summer for Real Madrid

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With Zinedine Zidane back at Real Madrid his hands will be tied for the next two months with the transfer window shut and there will be players in the squad that will be playing for their futures. A clear out will happen at the club as Zidane will try and return Madrid back to the pinnacle of European football and win another Champions League and try to topple Barcelona’s dominance in the Spanish La Liga.

So who will be on Zidane’s wish list? It has been reported that he could have up to 500m euros to spend, that is of course hear say, but at the end of the day we all know that Madrid President Florentino Perez has been holding out and that the club will be spending big money this summer.

We name five players below that should be topping his list.

Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe is the best centre forward in Europe, once we consider his rate of goals and his age. Still only 20 the French international and World Cup winner is having another superb season for PSG and is simply a devastating goal machine. He is the genuine article and would fit into Madrid no problem. The problem is that he cost PSG around £150m, and so could cost Madrid over £200m.

Neymar

Sticking with PSG, Neymar’s name has been mentioned on more than one occasion. The world’s most expensive player at £197m may be available on a loan deal to buy given that for the second consecutive season he has picked up a long term injury. The sticking point is that he is an ex Barcelona player, which could provide some tensions- Madrid would surely love this to rile up their enemies though.

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba is a new link but it does make sense. Zidane would have watched the French national team last summer and saw just how potentially great Pogba is. His surging runs were fantastic and he could imagine that at Madrid. If Pogba is happy he plays great football. Again a transfer would easily topple the £100m mark.

Sadio Mane

Mane has arguably been Liverpool’s best player this season. He has stepped up this season when at times Mohamed Salah has gone quiet and has scored 17 goals so far. Don’t be fooled into thinking he would come cheap. Liverpool do not sell their players cheap- just look at Phillipe Coutinho for that. Mane would provide that bit of quality when all guns aren’t firing.

Eden Hazard

Last but not least there is Eden Hazard who has been linked to Madrid for over a year. It would actually feel like a shock if this deal was to fall through- but it could given that Zidane is back at the club. If he’s not an admirer then Hazard won’t be coming. Still the Chelsea player could add a lot of pace and depth to the team and would be a great buy for them, and Chelsea could do with the transfer fee.