Moroccan international playmaker Younes Belhanda was named African player of Ligue 1 on Thursday it was announced by Radio France International (RFI) and France 24 after a vote by journalists.
The 22-year-old - who succeeds Ivorian Gervinho for his performances when Lille won the title last season - has been outstanding this season for Montpellier, who are on the verge of landing their first ever title.
Belhanda edged out Marseille's Cameroon defender Nicolas Nkoulou and Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who plays for St-Etienne and was the joint top scorer at the Africa Cup of Nations.
The award is known as the Marc-Vivien Foe prize in memory of the Cameroon international who died during a FIFA Confederations Cup match in Lyon in June 2003.
1. Younes Belhanda (Montpellier/MAR), 2. Nicolas Nkoulou (Marseille/CMR), 3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (St-Etienne/GAB), 4.Henri Bedimo (Montpellier/CMR), 5. Aymen Abdennour (Toulouse/TUN)
2011: Gervinho (CIV)
2010: Gervinho (CIV)
2009: Marouane Chamakh (MAR)