Ligue 1 often serves as a springboard for talented footballers to secure a move to the top four European leagues. We are seeing the French league as one of revival for two of this generation’s leading marksmen. Both had seen their stock fall drastically in recent years, one in the shadow of the imperial Zlatan Ibrahimović and the other after a cruciate ligament injury that threatened to end his career altogether. South American aces, Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao, are taking us on a trip down memory lane this season and giving more credence to the adage about the permanency of class.
The league itself has become a haven for attacking players who have taken a hit on their stock in the top four leagues. Hatem Ben Arfa, Angel di Maria, Mario Balotelli, Bafetimbi Gomis and Memphis Depay readily come to mind. There’s a reason a 0.75 multiplier on goals (compared to 1st to 5th) is used for leagues between 6th and 21st when determining the European Golden Shoe. However, some have carried their good form over to the UEFA Champions league. Therefore, the league cannot be completely discounted even whilst we remain cognisant of the inflation of top class attacking players’ returns in Ligue 1. The litmus test and validation is in European competition.
This season has forced us to remember the titans.