Benzema and Blanc honoured by peers

Published: Sunday 11 May 2008, 18.00CET
Olympique Lyonnais striker Karim Benzema has been voted as the French Players' Player of the Year, while Laurent Blanc picked up the best coach award.
Benzema and Blanc honoured by peers
Karim Benzema has been in fine form for Lyon this term ©Getty Images
Published: Sunday 11 May 2008, 18.00CET

Benzema and Blanc honoured by peers

Olympique Lyonnais striker Karim Benzema has been voted as the French Players' Player of the Year, while Laurent Blanc picked up the best coach award.

Olympique Lyonnais striker Karim Benzema has rewarded for his fine season in front of goal with the French Players' Player of the Year award, while Laurent Blanc has been voted as best coach.

Profitable campaign
Benzema, 20, has scored 19 goals in 31 Ligue 1 appearances to put Lyon on the brink of their seventh title in as many seasons. He finished just ahead of Olympique de Marseille's Senegalese international Mamadou Niang – who trails Benzema by two goals in the scoring charts – team-mate Jérémy Toulalan and FC Girondins de Bordeaux winger Wendel. 

'Strange feeling'
The France striker, who is the fourth Lyon player to receive the award in the last four seasons after Florent Malouda, Juninho Pernambucano and Michael Essien, said: "It's a strange feeling. This season has been a success for me thanks to my team-mates and also due to the fact that I've been injury-free. It's a nice trophy but now we have two others to clinch [French Cup and Ligue 1]."

First season
Blanc, meanwhile, has enjoyed a fine debut campaign at the helm of Bordeaux – the 42-year-old's first coaching job since retiring from playing in 2003. Having guided the Stade Chaban-Delmas club back into the UEFA Champions League next term, Bordeaux can still clinch the title if they win and Lyon lose in the final round of matches on Saturday.

SSI Err
Last updated: 12/05/08 0.19CET

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