Ivorian Nicolas Pepe elected African player of the year in Ligue 1

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Nicolas Pépé, the great Ivorian architect of the Losc turnaround, was awarded the Marc-Vivien Foé prize of the African player of the year in L1, awarded by RFI and France 24. He is ahead of the Tunisian Khazri (Saint-Étienne) and the Senegalese Sarr (Rennes).

The years go by but the Marc-Vivien Foé Award remains faithful to the tradition. As in 2017 and 2018, with the respective seals of Seri and Toko Ekambi, the triumph of Ivorian international Nicolas Pépé will not have made the shadow of a fold. Major element of Christophe Galtier's collective, he led his team to an unlikely qualification for the Champions League, while the Losc came out of a season in hell. And it is logical that he was awarded the trophy awarded by RFI and France 24 African player of the year in L1.

In the standings of the Prix, he is well ahead of a regular on the podium, the Tunisian Saint-Étienne Wahbi Khazri (140 pts against 379 to the winner), and the swirling Senegalese Stade Rennais Ismaïla Sarr (68 pts), which confirmed in 2018 / 19 he could set up as a Ligue 1 holder at the age of 19. An age at which Pépé, winner in 2019, still played in National, at the forefront of the attack on the US Orleans.

A future for the cadors

But for now, it is indeed the 23-year-old Ivorian striker who stands out as the best African player in Ligue 1. A progression that has allowed Lille to know its best season of L1 since 2011 and with 22 goals and 11 assists, Pepé took the opportunity to show, arousing the interest of many clubs in France and abroad. PSG, but also Manchester United, Inter Milan, Liverpool and Bayern Munich showed more or less openly their interest for whoever will be one of the key assets of Côte d'Ivoire at the next African Cup of Nations. nations.

"I see it well in a team that plays all in red and who likes to have off-center players wrong foot", recognized Galtier, at the beginning of the month, while Lille had just secure almost definitively his second place. A definition that sticks to Bayern, but also to Liverpool. For now, it's difficult to know where Pepe will be next season, but his adventure in Lille is very likely to come to an end.

And unless the PSG manages to win the summer mercato transfer – we are talking about a transfer close to 80 million – it's a safe bet that he will not become the second player to win in Two times the title of African player of the year in L1. A feat that only one footballer has managed to achieve so far: Gervinho, in 2010 and in 2011. And this doubled, the Ivorian had signed, already, in the jersey of Losc.

• The final ranking of the Marc-Vivien Foé 2019 Prize:

1. Nicolas PÉPÉ (Lille / Ivory Coast) ► 379 points
2. Wahbi KHAZRI (Saint-Étienne / Tunisia) ► 140 points
3. Ismaïla SARR (Rennes / Senegal) ► 68 points
4. Youcef ATAL (Nice / Algeria) ► 31 points
5. Max-Alain GRADEL (Toulouse / Ivory Coast) ► 25 points
6. Bertrand TRAORÉ (Lyon / Burkina Faso) ► 15 points
7. Lebo MOTHIBA (Strasbourg / South Africa) ► 12 points
8. Denis BOUANGA (Nîmes / Gabon) ► 8 points
ex. Yunis ABDELHAMID (Reims / Morocco) ► 8 points
10. François KAMANO (Bordeaux / Guinea) ► 7 points
11. Stéphane BAHOKEN (Angers / Cameroon) ► 1 point

(tagsToTranslate) Sports (t) Football (t) Marc-Vivien Foé (t) Côte d'Ivoire (t) Lille OSC

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