If Lyon could surprise in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League by firing Juventus, the French club is largely to blame for the game volume and versatility of Bruno Guimaraes.
The 22-year-old Carioca took just a few minutes to take a pillar spot in Rudi Garcia’s squad. He sets no boundaries and hopes to return Manchester City to England on Saturday in Lisbon.
UEFA.com: Manchester City, how important is this game for Lyon on Saturday?
Bruno Guimarães : It is the most important match of the season because we know we have to win it to continue playing in the (UEFA) Champions League. My dream is to also play in the Champions League next season, but for that we have to win the current Champions League. I know it will be a very hard, very difficult game against a very strong team that has the ball almost all the time. Every time we get the ball we have to play and if we play well we can win the match.
Should Lyon wait and play in this match?
Yes. That’s a little hard for me to say. Maybe you should ask the coach, but I think we play normally. We are a united team, we are also a very strong team, so I think we can play with and without the ball. We’ll see how the game goes.
You were very quickly important in this team. Was it Juninho who helped you adapt?
Yes, it’s Juninho. When I arrived, I spoke twice with Juninho and the coach. June translated for me, but now that I already speak a little French, the coach can talk to me directly and it’s better that way.
Juninho, the sports director of Lyon, who is one of your compatriots, played an important role in your arrival in France. How did it go ?
Yes it’s true. Juninho played a key role. I remember we had spoken two or three times before I wrote. We talked for over an hour. We talked about the city and the club. He explained to me all the plans that Lyon had for me.
So he was pretty sincere with me and my family, which is the most important thing to me. He gave me some tips too. He played midfield, even though it was a little higher up on the pitch. He was a master in this field. He is the king of Lyon, he has had a lot of success here.
I’m there with his approval. He called me first, then I talked to the coach and the club president. It was very nice. I’m very happy to be here. I do not know if I am ten games away for Lyon, but the fans liked my performances, as well as the coach and my teammates.
You played an important role in the qualifiers against Juventus, both at home and at home. Did you expect to develop at this level as soon as you arrived?
Yes, I knew how important I was to Lyon, how the supporters had huge expectations of me and the managers and I was aware of the efforts made for my arrival. I also knew that the club was a giant aiming for the Champions League, but I was prepared for that. Juventus is a fantastic team with fantastic players who have won the Champions League before, but we played really well, had a fantastic performance and beating this team was very important to gain even more confidence.
Against Juventus you have met your compatriots Alex Sandro, Danilo, Douglas Costa … Against Manchester City it will be Ederson, Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho.
Really. That is really good. I have spoken to Fernandinho on several occasions. He’s a good guy who played for the same club as me, Athletico Paranaense. So our relationship goes back to when I played there.
Who were your idols when you were young in Brazil?
Nice question. They are many. I was a fan of Ronaldo Fenômeno, Cafu, Ronaldinho Gaúcho first. Then I watched Adriano, Kaká, but I’ve been a fan of Ronaldinho Gaúcho since my childhood.
Still, you’re pretty defensive and attack him. Have you ever played in front?
Yes, I played in a more advanced position. I’ve been a fan of Ronaldinho since my childhood because he was a magician. He made the ball disappear and no one could take him back. When it comes to defensive midfielders, I have always been a fan of Iniesta. I have always followed him closely. He has always inspired me and I am a big fan of this player.