Manchester-bound Hazard named Ligue 1 top player

PARIS Mon May 14, 2012 10:08pm BST

Lille's Eden Hazard celebrates his goal during their French Ligue 1 soccer match against Nice at Lille Metropole Stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq near Lille December 21, 2011. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Lille's Eden Hazard celebrates his goal during their French Ligue 1 soccer match against Nice at Lille Metropole Stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq near Lille December 21, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

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PARIS (Reuters) - Lille midfielder Eden Hazard was named Ligue 1's best player for the second year in a row on Monday before a probable move to Manchester.

The Belgian playmaker, also named the French League's top prospect in 2009 and 2010, beat Montpellier midfielder Younes Belhanda, Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud and Paris St Germain forward Nene in a vote by Ligue 1 players and coaches.

Hazard, who led 2011 French champions Lille to third place this season, is set to leave the club this year with the Premier League his likely destination.

"It will be Manchester," he said at the ceremony without disclosing his preference for English champions City, or runners-up United.

"The decision is about to be made. You will soon know."

Morocco midfielder Belhanda was voted the top prospect with Montpellier's Rene Girard named the best coach for taking his team to the brink of the title.

Montpellier lead PSG by three points before the final round of matches on Sunday.

With fullback Henri Bedimo, centre back Vitorino Hilton, Belhanda and Giroud, Montpellier have four players in the team of the season.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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