Mbappe named best French player of the year

Kylian Mbappe has been crowned French player of the year for 2018 by France Football ahead of Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann.

Mbappe, 20, was recognised by France Football, who also award the Ballon d’Or, after a successful 12 months with club and country, winning a domestic treble with Paris Saint-Germain and the World Cup with France.

The forward has also excelled individually in 2018, scoring 30 goals for club and country, as he won the inaugural Kopa Trophy – awarded to the best U21 player in world football – and ranking fourth in the Ballon d’Or list.
Mbappe also played a pivotal role in France’s World Cup-winning campaign in Russia, scoring four times, including a goal in the 4-2 final win over Croatia.

Varane (Real Madrid) and Griezmann (Atletico Madrid) were close behind in the vote, which was carried out by journalists and former winners, after a successful season in Europe with their clubs.

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is now forced to relinquish his title after being awarded the prize for 2017.

Luck not on Juventus’ side with Champions League draw, says Nedved

The Italian side were paired with Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the competition, much to the dismay of the vice-chairman Pavel Nedved lamented Juventus’ misfortune after the Bianconeri were paired with Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League on Monday.

Juve continue to blaze a trail domestically- they have won the last seven scudetti and already established an eight-point lead at the summit this season after 16 games- but have not been crowned European champions since 1996.

They recruited Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid to bolster an already imposing squad but Nedved was relatively downbeat when asked to assess the clash with the defending Europa League champions.

Nedved said:‘we didn’t have much luck. Atletico are a difficult side to face, they are more of an Italian-style team than European. They have a strong defense that plays well together, and they know how to play into the forwards with Griezmann and others.

‘I foresee two very even matches, with few goals. We have been drawn the strongest possible opponent, but there is no problem. Cristiano Ronaldo may be the man of the Champions League but the is strong and we can be confident in our ability to qualify for the quarter-finals’

Juve midfielder Sami Khedira, another former Real Madrid man, has also predicted a difficult game against Diego Simeone’s side.