Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva head Ligue 1 player short-list

Reuters, Thursday 9 May 2013

French Ligue 1 announced a four-man short-list for the player of the year award

Paris Saint-Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (C) struggles to control the ball during their French Ligue 1 soccer match against Valenciennes at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris May 5, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Paris St Germain duo Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva have been named on a four-man short-list for the French Ligue 1 player of the year award alongside team mate Blaise Matuidi, the players union UNFP said on Thursday.

St Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the league's second top-scorer behind Ibrahimovic, is also in contention to succeed Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard who won the award the last two seasons when playing for Lille.

Sweden striker Ibrahimovic and Brazil centre back Thiago Silva, who both joined the wealthy capital club last year from AC Milan, have been key figures in putting PSG on the brink of their first title since 1994.

The Ligue 1 leaders have a seven-point advantage over second-placed Olympique Marseille with three games left and could win their third domestic title this weekend.

Ibrahimovic has scored 27 goals, a total no Ligue 1 player had achieved since former France striker Jean-Pierre Papin in 1992.

Thiago Silva has marshalled the best defence in the league with only 21 goals conceded from 35 games.

PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti has made the list for the manager of the year award and Italian midfielder Marco Verratti was one of four nominees for the young player prize.

Ancelotti will compete with Elie Baup, who has led Olympique Marseille to second spot after a disappointing 10th-place finish under Didier Deschamps last season, St Etienne coach Christophe Galtier and Claude Puel of Nice.

All Ligue 1 players and coaches are to take part in the poll with the awards to be handed on May 19.

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