NOTORIOUSLY tough French newspaper L’Equipe have named four Premier League players in their team of 2022.
The paper is renowned for their savage scoring of players, recently refusing to rate Ousmane Dembele after he was hooked in the World Cup final.
But in their team of the year, they did name three French players, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema and Theo Hernandez.
Mbappe, who scored a hat-trick in the Qatar final against eventual winners Argentina, finished the year with 55 goals for club and country.
As well as a World Cup runners-up medal, the forward also had a Ligue 1 winners medal.
Benzema ended the last 12 months with 31 goals while winning the Champions League, LaLiga titles and Ballon D’or award.
He pipped Lionel Messi to the trophy, with the legendary forward scoring 35 times for PSG and Argentina in 2022.
But alongside club team-mate Mbappe, Messi lifted the Ligue 1 title and then at long last the World Cup.
L’Equipe named Premier League quartet Kevin de Bruyne, Kyle Walker, Casemiro and Virgil van Dijk in their team of the year.
De Bruyne and Walker both led Manchester City to the Premier League title in the summer, pipping Liverpool and Van Dijk.
Most read in Football
Casemiro joined Manchester United in the summer having helped Real Madrid to Champions League glory.
Keeper Thibaut Courtois and Luka Modric won the LaLiga title along with being named in L’Equipe’s team of the year.
Left-back Hernandez, also included, helped AC Milan to a first Serie A triumph in 11 years.
Rising defensive star Josko Gvardiol earned his spot in the XI having emerged as one of the best centre-backs in the world.
Chelsea and Real Madrid are among the clubs eyeing up the Croatian in the transfer market.