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Lyon's starting XI if they had kept all their best players would be pretty special

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Paris Saint-German now look like they will become the dominant force in Ligue 1.

Monaco might have lifted the French title last season, but some more lavish spending on the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe has surely ushered in an era of Parisian dominance.

However, at the start of the millennium, Olympique Lyonnais were far and away the dominant force in the division, winning an unprecedented seven titles on the bounce between 2001 and 2008.

Amazingly, that time period was the only time they were actually champions of France and they were a pretty formidable team in the Champions League as well.

In recent times, success hasn't been as easy to come by, mainly due to the fact that they have had to sell a lot of their top players.

If they had kept them all, their starting XI would have been one of the most feared in Europe. Some of these names may have been forgotten by football fans.

GK - HUGO LLORIS

The Tottenham shot-stopper was a bit of a hero in his homeland prior to his Premier League move. Anthony Lopes may be one of the best in Ligue 1, but France's number one easily makes the cut.

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-EVIAN-LYON

RB - RAFAEL

One of the very few current players to keep their place is the former Manchester United man, with the Brazilian enjoying a very good season in 2017/18.

CB - SAMUEL UMTITI

Barcelona's defensive colossus had a tough night in Rome, but he's still developed into one of the best in the business. A shrewd purchase by the Blaugrana.

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-LYON-MONACO

CB - DEJAN LOVREN

A controversial choice, but after his performances against Manchester City, the Croatian is surely worthy of a place.

LB - FERLAND MENDY

No, he's not related to Manchester City's social media king defender, but he's still a very good player, one who is being looked at by some top clubs already.

FBL-FRA-LYON-LIGUE1

MID - CORENTIN TOLISSO

Tolisso was one of the latest stars to be sold to a European giant, with the Frenchman moving to Bayern Munich last summer. He's enjoyed a pretty decent start in Germany as well.

MID - MIRALEM PJANIC

Many will have forgotten that Juve's Bosnian maestro forged his reputation on French shores, with the midfield now widely recognised as one of the best in the world.

Lyon's Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic

MID - NABIL FEKIR

He features in this team as a current player, but Fekir is likely to be the next star sold for a huge profit by Lyon. His 16 goals in 24 Ligue 1 games from midfield highlights just how good he is.

FWD - ANTHONY MARTIAL

He only played three games for the club in total, but how Lyon would kill for Martial these days. Memphis Depay is enjoying a pretty good season, but the Manchester United winger is a different calibre of player.

FBL-FRA-EUR-C3-LYON-KIRYAT-SHMONA

FWD - KARIM BENZEMA

Yes, we know he gets a lot of stick these days, but the Real Madrid man is still a very capable striker and would 100% be the main man at a club where he is still considered a legend.

FWD - ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE

Arsenal's £50m striker really was a formidable force at Lyon, virtually keeping the club afloat with his goals through a serious period of mediocrity. Although, Mariano Diaz has done a pretty good job replacing him this season.

Topics:
Ligue 1
Lyon
Hugo Lloris
Miralem Pjanic
Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain
Rafael Da Silva
Dejan Lovren
Football
Karim Benzema

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