In December, Valbuena helped to keep Marseille’s Champions League hopes alive by scoring the winning goal in a 3-2 comeback win over German side Borussia Dortmund. Valbuena also scored in Ligue 1 wins over L’Orient and Nancy during a stretch in which L’OM went 3-0-1 in Ligue 1 fixtures.
The UNFP, or “Union nationale des footballeurs professionnels", or National Union of Professional Footballers (English) is the main trade union for professional footballers in France. Each month the union awards a monthly trophy to players in both Ligue 1 and Ligue 2.
Runners up for December’s award included Paris Saint-Germain’s Italian keeper Salvatore Sirigu and Evian TG’s defensive midfielder Cédric Barbosa.
The UNFP trophy was not the only one awarded to Valbuena for the month of December, as he was also selected as Olympien of the month on OM.net, an award that is given to the player on the team who receives the most online votes from supporters.
It marked the second time Valbuena has received the award from the team’s website. He previously received the award in August.
On January 10th, Les Olympiens also secured a trip to the semifinals of the Coupe de la Ligue. OM will play Nice in the semifinal next month.
On January 22nd the team will play its next major cup game in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France.
Marseille will continue their 2011-12 Champions League quest next month, as well against Italian giants Inter Milan. Supporters should mark their calendars for February 22nd.