Morocco's Belhanda shortlisted for Ligue 1 player of the season

AFP, Wednesday 2 May 2012

Yones Belhanda is running for the titles of player and young player of the season

Montpellier's French midfielder Younes Belhanda, left, challenges for the ball with Evian's Ghanaian midfielder Mohammed Rabiu, during their League One soccer match, at La Mosson stadium, in Montpellier, 1 May 2012. (Photo: AP)

Lille's Eden Hazard, Paris Saint-Germain's Nene and Montpellier pair Olivier Giroud and Younes Belhanda were on Wednesday shortlisted for Ligue 1's player of the season award.

Belgian winger Hazard, the holder, and Ligue 1 top scorer Giroud are the favourites to win the award, which will be presented at the National Union of Professional Footballers' (UNFP) annual gala on May 14.

Belhanda is the favourite to be crowned Ligue 1's young player of the season, having also been nominated in that category alongside Montpellier team-mate Remy Cabella, Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas N'Koulou of Marseille.

French number one Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Salvatore Sirigu (PSG) and Benoit Costil (Rennes) were shortlisted for the best goalkeeper award.

The UNFP previously announced the shortlist for the coach of the season award on Twitter, with Antoine Kombouare a surprise candidate despite having been sacked by PSG at the end of December.

The other nominees were Lille coach Rudi Garcia, Montpellier's Rene Girard and Olivier Pantaloni of promoted Ajaccio.

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