PSG were announced as title winners after seven games of the Ligue 1 campaign, following a 5-0 win against Lyon.
Les Parisiens are already eight points clear of the chasing pack so it’s best we save all those defenders’ ankles from being snapped by Neymar and call it a day.
But what if, in an alternative universe, Ligue 1’s other 19 clubs cobbled together to put an end to PSG’s monopoly?
Imagine if they all put forward their best knights to down PSG’s dragon in a noble pursuit to wrestle back French football.
PSG’s domination- five league titles in six seasons- actually pales into insignificance when compared to Lyon’s seven consecutive titles between 2001 and 2008.
But don’t let that get in the way of a good narrative. Who would make up this mythical Ligue 1 ‘best of the rest’ side?
Firstly, let’s have a look at the smorgasbord of players who went in to selecting a final XI.
Lille’s fast start in Ligue 1 means Jose Fonte, reborn at centre-back, criminally underrated defensive midfielder Thiago Mendes and the lighting attacking duo of Nicolas Pepe and Jonathan Bamba had to be considered.
Marcus Thuram is benefiting from years of playing against dad Marcus in the back garden and is definitely destined for bigger things than Guingamp, with all due respect.
Forward Francois Kamano has scored a goal every 106 minutes for Bordeaux, while Malang Sarr continues to show maturity beyond his 19 years at the heart of Nice’s defence.
The rest of the pool are mostly usual suspects from Lyon, Monaco and Marseille. But let’s stop messing about. Here’s the XI chosen to go to battle with PSG:
Goalkeeper: Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
He may not be the youngest or most agile keeper any more, but Mandanda brings with him years of domestic and international experience.
Essential when the right-back sees red after Kylian Mbappe’s seventh nutmeg of the game.
Plus, Anthony Lopes played his way out of the team when he conceded five against PSG and gave away a penalty for scything down Mbappe.
Defenders: Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Ferland Mendy (Lyon), Kamil Glik (Monaco) and Jemerson (Monaco)
Sidibe, Glik and Jemerson have individual class, although they’ve yet to show it this season as Monaco continue to transform into West Ham 2002/03.
Mendy breaks up the all-Monaco back four after continuing his impressive form for Lyon following a 2017 move from Le Havre. So impressive, in fact, that Barcelona are reportedly paying close attention.
As everyone knows, if you’ve got Le Havre on your CV there’s a 97% chance you’ll end up moving for more than £30million at some stage in your career, a la Benjamin Mendy, Dimitri Payet and Paul Pogba.
Defensive midfielders: Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon) and Thiago Mendes (Lille)
Football will be complete when Spurs replace Mousa Dembele with Tanguy Ndombele in the not-too-distant future. An evoltution not even the writers of Pokemon could have scripted.
The Lyon midfielder is a wrecking ball in ballet shoes and was one of the few players who came out of the PSG mauling with any credit.
Lille’s Brazilian pit bull Mendes is one of the most underrated midfielders in Ligue 1 and continues to grow in stature since arriving from Sao Paulo in 2017.
He may well end up at PSG as Thomas Tuchel continues his search for a no.6 to act as bodyguard for his roster of stars.
Attacking midfielders: Florian Thauvin (Marseille), Dimitri Payet (Marseille) and Nabil Fekir (Lyon)
Let’s face it, no one’s topping PSG’s front three of Neymar, Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.
But Thauvin, Payet and Fekir guarantee goals, assists and transfer requests aplenty.
Quite how Thauvin didn’t succeed at Newcastle is a mystery. Actually, what are we on about? It was Newcastle. Expect to see him at Bayern Munich or another European powerhouse as of next season.
Striker: Radamel Falcao (Monaco)
With all that creativity in midfield, all you need up front is a reliable poacher. Introducing Mr Falcao.
The Colombian, who swapped boots with his identical twin for spells at Man United and Chelsea, is reaching the twilight years of his career.
But give him a sniff of the onion bag and you can be sure he’ll ruffle it.
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