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Ibra favourite for top Ligue 1 award

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is favourite to pick up the French Player of the Year award for a second year running after being named on a four-man shortlist voted for by Ligue 1 professionals.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has enjoyed an exceptional season with PSG.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has enjoyed an exceptional season with PSG.

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Having chalked up 25 goals and 11 assists in Ligue 1 this season, Ibrahimovic, 32, is an obvious candidate for this year's prize and is nominated along with two Paris Saint-Germain teammates, centre-back Thiago Silva, 29, and midfielder Thiago Motta, 31, plus Monaco's James Rodriguez, 22.

Colombia international James is also nominated for Young Player of the Year alongside Monaco full-back Layvin Kurzawa, 21, plus PSG midfielder Marco Verratti, 21 and versatile Toulouse defender Serge Aurier, 21.

PSG boss Laurent Blanc and goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu are also up for the managerial and goalkeeping awards, and Ibrahimovic said the number of nominations his club had received shows how well the team is developing.

"I think this season has been fantastic for the team and the club," he told French radio station RTL. "Out of the five trophies to win, we could win three this year and that's a good statistic.

"The club is moving forward, it's developing itself and it's improving in every area. It's a sign that the team had a very good year. I don't know who will win but I hope it will be a PSG player."

Like Ibrahimovic, Brazil international Silva was keen to give credit to his clubmates.

"It's not easy to talk because I don't play alone," Silva said. "I'm very happy because it's not easy to be nominated two seasons in a row. It will be very difficult to win but if it's a PSG player I will be very happy too."

The awards are organised by the French Professional Footballers' Association (UNFP). Players from Ligue 1 clubs, who were not allowed to vote for anyone from their own team, picked the nominees.

The award winners will be unveiled at a ceremony on May 11.


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