After three consecutive championships, Paris Saint-Germain got dethroned by Lille in the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season. Now we are going to take a look at the team of the 2020-21 season in Ligue 1 which is consisted of exciting young prospects alongside unexpected veterans.
With the title race being on up to the last day of the season, Ligue 1 surely had one of its most entertaining seasons in the recent years. Paris Saint-Germain was chasing Lille up to the last week but at the end,Lille
managed to celebrate their unbelievable season with a priceless trophy. Of course Christophe Galtier and his men were the focus point of this season in France Ligue 1, but in this article we are going to take a close look and find out about the best players of the league in each and every position.
has always been known as a league that gives a lot of opportunity to young players to shine and develop their talents. The 2020-21 season was not unique to that and the league was blessed by youngsters like Kiki Kouyate, Jonathan David, and Eduardo Camavinga. There were also some veteran players that enjoyed one of the best seasons of their career. And of course you can always be pleased by watching superstars like Neymar, Mbappe, and Memphis performing week in and week out.
If you are wondering which players were the best performers in the last season of France Ligue 1, you have come to the right place. In the following article we are going to introduce a best XI that was able to show both top quality and consistency throughout the season. Before we get to the details about every player, let’s take a quick look at our France
Ligue 1 team of the season
which is arranged in a classic 442 system:
Goal Keeper: Mike Maignan - LOSC Lille
Right Back: Mehmet Zeki Celik - LOSC Lille
Centre Back: José Fonte - LOSC Lille
Centre Back: Marquinhos - Paris Saint-Germain
Left Back: Caio Henrique - AS Monaco
Right Midfielder: Kylian Mbappe - Paris Saint-Germain
Central Midfielder: Benjamin André - LOSC Lille
Central Midfielder: Farid Boulaya - Metz
Left Midfielder: Karl Toko Ekambi - Olympique Lyonnais
Second Striker: Memphis Depay - Olympique Lyonnais
Striker: Andy Delort - Montpellier
Picking up a best XI is never easy and there always be some decent players left out no matter how you choose your team. With that in mind, let’s start and take a close look at our best XI player’s profile.
Picking up Mike Maignan as the best goal keeper throughout the season maybe was the easiest choice that we had to make. Of course Keylor Navas is a world class keeper who didn’t drop his form this season, but Mike Maignan was a key part of Lille’s defense that helped his team to concede as less goals as possible. You just can’t win league titles with an average goal keeper. Mike Maignan once again showed that how a top level GK could save his team in decisive moments.
The 25 years old French shot stopper played every single minute in Ligue 1 2020/21 season and managed to achieve 21 clean sheets which was the highest number in the league. Keylor Navas and Bordeaux’s Benoit Costil both had 14 clean sheets which makes them second with 7 less than Maignan. In the summer of 2021,AC Milan
was convinced that Mike Maignan is a good replacement for Gianluigi Donnarumma and that could explain how talented the Magic Mike is.
It is not easy at all to choose which one of Lille’s Turkish trio was the best amongst them. But we can say with a little bit of certainty that Mehmet Zeki Celik was one of the best Right Backs in the league and earned his place in our France Ligue 1 team of the season 2020/21. We also have to give credit toJonathan Clauss
from Lens who had an impressive season but Zeki Celik consistency throughout the campaign was extraordinary. In fact in the January of 2021, Zeki Celik was linked to a move to AS Roma and if that happened, it was hard to imagine that Lille could lift the trophy without him.
The Turkish 24 year old right back had joined Lille in 2017 from Istanbulspor for a transfer fee of €2m and now just after spending two seasons in France Ligue 1, he is considered as one of the best right backs in Europe. He played 29 matches and managed to score 3 goals and produced 2 assists for his teammates. He also had 2.5 tackles per game which shows he can provide at both attacking and defending phases.
With conceding the least amount of goals in the league, it is not a surprise that we have another Lille defender in our
Ligue 1 team of the season
. The veteran Portuguese defender, who became the Europe’s champion in the EURO 2016, was the leader of Lille’s back line and surely he deserves a spot in our France Ligue 1 team of the season 2020/21. It is fair to say that José Fonte, who wore the Captain’s armband for Lille, had one of his best seasons in his career.
José Fonte in now 37 years old and he is approaching to his last seasons as a professional football player. But he was able to take part in 36 games for Lille this season and proved that he is still fit enough to lead his team to championship. He also managed to score 3 goals for his team which two of them were absolutely crucial in to stay ahead of Paris Saint-Germain in the table. Specially his 87th minute equalizer against Strasbourg that saved an important point for
After the departure of Thiago Silva, it was time for the other Brazilian Centre Back to wear the Captain’s armband and lead the Parisians from the back line. Marquinhos showed that he was more than ready to take that responsibility as he was one of the most consistent player’s in a season that PSG didn’t perform as well as expected. Not only Marquinhos was one of the best Centre Backs in the France Ligue 1, but also he had a huge role in Paris Saint-Germain’s European campaign by scoring goals in Quarte-final and Semi-final of theUEFA Champions League
The 27 years old defender made 25 appearances during the 2020/21 season in France Ligue 1 and had a direct impact in 4 goals: 3 goals and 1 assist. His defending stats shows that he has 1.1 successful tackles per game and also an average of 39.2 passes per game with a success percentage of 93 which indicates that he has an important role in PSG’s buildup play. So all things considered, Marquinhos is the perfect match for Jose Fonte to lead our
France Ligue 1 team of the season 2020/21
Our next defender in the
Ligue 1 team of the season 2020/21 is also a Brazilian named Caio Henrique Oliveira Silva. Spending his first season in France Ligue 1, Caio Henrique adapted very well to AS Monaco’s playing style. Caio helpedMonaco
to clinch a Champions League qualification spot after years of struggling at the bottom of table. The left footed left back came to Monaco as Atletico Madrid decided to sell him for a transfer fee of €8m in the summer of 2020.
Caio Henrique is only 23 years old and he took part in 31 games last season. His agility and composure on the ball are what makes him one of the best left backs in the league. He didn’t score any goals but he was able to produce 4 assists and created 30 chances for his team in the 2020/21 Ligue 1 campaign. Monaco managed to keep clean sheet in 10 straight games and Caio Henrique was a starter in every one of those games which tells us how good he is both in attack and defense.
We could say that choosing midfielders was the hardest part of creating our Ligue 1 team of the season. We had players like Lucas Paqueta andHoussem Aouar
from Lyon who performed on a world class level. Then there the likes of Teji Savanier from Montpellier and Seko Fofana from Lens who had one of their best seasons. But for our team of the season, we chose to go with Farid Boulaya, a versatile midfielder who can also play at both wings and the number 10 position behind the strikers.
The 28 years old Algerian had an amazing season and his stats are a proof of that. He scored 6 goals and made 8 assists for Metz. Considering that Metz finished the season in 10th place, you could say that recording that kind of stats in a mid-table team isn’t easy at all. Although he is not that good when it comes to defensive contribution, his attacking work rate and being a specialist on taking free kicks made him a useful midfielder who can come to the rescue when his team needs a goal.
To cover the lack of defensive contribution in our
France Ligue 1 team of the season 2020/21
, we needed an all-around defensive midfielder and let us tell you, Benjamin Andre was the ultimate defensive midfielder in the 2020/21 season. With 180cm height the Frenchman was a backbone in Lille’s squad. He is a beast on the air and in addition to his defensive skills; he is also a very good playmaker from the back.
Benjamin Andre is currently 30 years old and he started 35 matches last season. He is a right footed player who also can play on the right midfielder. Although he likes to destroy the oppositions build up play by fouling on them, he is experienced enough to avoid getting red cards. In the whole season he only got booked 10 times which is acceptable for a defensive midfielder. We should also mention Monaco’s Aurélien Tchouaméni as one of the other capable defensive midfielders who had an above average season.
For left midfielder/winger we are going with Karl Toko Ekambi from Olympique Lyonnais who was one of the most prolific wingers in the league. Ekambi managed to score 14 goals and provided 6 assists for the
. His finishing skills alongside his ability to create chances for strikers from the left flank made us to choose him over Dimitri Payet and Jonathan Bamba who also had performed well during the season.
Karl Toko Ekambi is currently 28 years old and it was his second season atLyon
after joining the French side for a short term loan spell during 2019/20 season. Then in the summer of 2020, Lyon decided to buy him from Villareal for a transfer fee of €11.50m. Ekambi is turning to an efficient winger who can lead Lyon to compete for a Champions League spot in the coming years. With 185cm height he is also a threat on long balls and can use his physics to beat the defenders.
In the recent years it seems impossible to make a France Ligue 1 team of the season and don’t include Kylian Mbappe in it. Maybe his hat-trick against Barcelona at the Camp Nou in a UCL knockout match was his highlight of the season. But don’t let that distract you from the fact that he was the France Ligue 1 top goal scorer with 27 goals, 7 more than Memphis Depay andWissam Ben Yedder
who were the joint second top scorers of the league.
It seems that even changing manager in the middle of the season doesn’t impact Kylian Mbappe great form and no matter who is coaching the team, he will always ready to provide for his team. Kylian managed to surpass 100 goals for Paris Saint-Germain while he is only 22 years old. If the rumors come true and Real Madrid buys him from PSG, it would be almost impossible for the Parisians to replace him.
Memphis Depay statically had his best season in Lyon since he joined them in 2017. Memphis scored 20 goals and provided 12 assists which made him one of the best attacking players not only in Ligue 1, but also across the Europe top five leagues. He was Lyon’s main man leading the attack and it is no surprise that they had the second best attacking stats in the League with 81 goals scored, after PSG with 86 goals.
With his contract expiring in the summer of 2021, it was just the perfect time forBarcelona
to sign Memphis as a free agent. He is currently 27 years old and it seems that he is on his career prime. So it would be a joy to watch him in a high quality squad which has players like Messi and Frankie De Jong. In addition to that, Memphis would favor from a Dutch coach, Ronald Koeman, who is familiar with Memphis abilities since they worked together at Netherlands national team.
Last but not least, we had to pick one striker for our
France Ligue 1 team of the season 2020/21
. It wasn’t easy to choose just one striker since there were quite a few goal poachers in this season’s Ligue 1. From Burak Yilmaz who took the league by storm at the age of 35 to Wissam Ben Yedder who scored 20 goals and helped Monaco to get back on its feet again. But we chose to go with Andy Delort fromMontpellier
who has managed to score 15 goals and made 9 assist in just 30 games.
Andy Delort is the second Algerian in our France Ligue 1 team of the season 2020/21 alongside Farid Boulaya. He is 29 years old at the time of publishing this article and arguably had his best season so far during his career. Although he is only 181cm, his main strength is aerial duels and scoring goals with powerful headers. Creating 63 big chances during the season shows that he is also a good playmaker up front and can provide for wingers and attacking midfielders.
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