By Charlotte Vincelot
1. ADA HEGERBERG / OL
After a ‘down’ year, as down a year can be when winning three titles (while scoring the winning penalty kick in the Coupe de France final) and sitting at the top of the D1 goal scorers table (tied with Eugénie Le Sommer) with 20 goals, she’s been unstoppable since announcing she would be taking a break from the national team after a disappointing EUROs. She’s already scored 18 goals in D1 and 13 in UWCL since the beginning of the season, and not seeing her beat the 14 goals record in the European competition would be a huge surprise. She ended the year scoring the only goal of the most important game of the first half of the season against PSG. Simply put, she’s been on fire.
2. SAKI KUMAGAI / OL
She’s not the flashiest of players, she won’t stuff stat sheets – although she’s in charge of taking penalty kicks – and what she brings to the best team in Europe is too often underrated. The Japan captain, central defender with her national team but midfielder with Lyon, has been one of the most reliable players of the team for a few years now and an important part of Lyon’s many titles.
3. FORMIGA / PSG
She joined PSG on the last day of January and started slow and took time to find her groove. Since then, she’s been the tireless player we all know, and the central piece of the Parisian midfield. Signed for only six months, she extended her contract until 2018 and has been the captain of her team and one of the players most used by Patrice Lair. She may be 40 soon, but it certainly doesn’t show on the pitch.
4. EUGÉNIE LE SOMMER / OL
As with her Lyon teammates, Le Sommer has had an historic year and won the treble in 2017. If Ada Hagerberg is outshining everyone since the beginning of the season, Le Sommer has been a regular during the year, both as a scorer and a playmaker (along with Camille Abily and Dzsenifer Marozsan -15 assists in 2016-2017). Tied for best scorer of D1 (with Hegerberg) last season, she was Lyon’s best scorer in the Champions League. With 11 goals and five assists for the first part of the season, she’s on the same pace. With the national team, she’s been appointed vice-captain by Corinne Diacre and has been playing mostly on the left wing.
5. SARAH BOUHADDI / OL
Lyon’s defensive players seldom have the opportunity to be the hero of the day as the team is so collectively dominant. But Bouhaddi played a big role in Lyon winning the last Champions League, and not only for the final performance and scoring the winning penalty kick against Paris Saint-Germain. She may have been the best player of her team against Wolfsburg in the quarter finals, and also made decisive stops against Manchester City in the semi-finals, despite offering a goal to Carli Lloyd.
6. GRACE GEYORO / PSG
In balance with teammate Shirley Cruz – who played a big part in PSG reaching the last Champions League final – for a spot on the list, she gets the nod thanks to her big 2016-2017 season and her change of dimension since winning the 2016 U19 EUROs. She’s been less impressive since the beginning of the season, maybe a payoff of the last year, but she’s definitely the present and the future of PSG and the national team despite only being 20. She’s also shown a great versatility, and recently added right-back to the several spots she can play on the field.
7. GAËTANE THINEY / JUVISY, PFC
Once fighting for the title and the Champions League qualification, Juvisy, now Paris Football Club, has stepped back but that’s not because of Thiney’s performances. Directly involved in 19 goals last season, she’s already scored nine goals and had five assists since September, while being the leader of a young team. Despite her play, she hasn’t yet earned a call back to the national team since Corinne Diacre was appointed.
8. ASHLEY LAWRENCE / PSG
The versatile Canadian, who joined PSG last winter, has been a good addition to the team, and has added pace and power to the left side of the team – defensively as well as offensively – often covering for the injured Laure Boulleau. Very experienced internationally despite her age, she is an important piece of Patrice Lair’s team, and along with Irene Paredes and Ève Périsset (the previous summer), one of the three smart signings for PSG’s backline last season.
9. STINA BLACKSTENIUS / MONTPELLIER
Her first D1 game last January saw her scoring the winning goal against PSG at the end of regulation. After this successful start with her new team, she, along with Lindsey Thomas and Valérie Gauvin, filled in for the injured Sofia Jakobsson’s big shoes to help Montpellier qualify for the Champions League. She’s also the best scorer of her team since the beginning of the season, and one of the best of D1 with 10 goals.
10. VIVIANE ASSEYI / MARSEILLE
She gets the nod and not her former teammate Pauline Peyraud-Magnin because the goalkeeper has joined Lyon this summer and has only played one Champions League game. Both had a great 2016-2017 season and played a big part in Marseille ending the season behind Lyon, Montpellier and Paris. Asseyi ended the season as Marseille’s best scorer (nine goals) and was second in assists behind Charlotte Lozé, but mostly, she was very active on the field. Thanks to her season, she has been called back with the national team and has been the best scorer since Corinne Diacre took over. The beginning of the season with Marseille has been really tough, but the team ended the year with its first win and Asseyi has been directly involved (goal or assist) in seven of Marseille’s ten goals.