‘He’s Incredible’ — Lyon’s Guimaraes on Facing Neymar in Coupe de la Ligue Final

Paris Saint-Germain took care of business in the Coupe de la Ligue final against Olympique Lyonnais as they recorded yet another tournament win. While the contest was far from effortless, Les Parisiens delivered in the penalty shootout to win the tournament’s last ever final.

For Lyon defensive midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, the result was a tough pill to swallow. Lyon held PSG scoreless over 120 minutes of play but still came up short. Guimaraes played in 65 minutes of the contest and did his most against the reigning Ligue 1 champions; he totaled for five tackles won and 11 ground duels won. Most notably, the Brazilian midfielder had to deal with containing Neymar in several sequences on the pitch.

In an exclusive interview with L’Equipe, Guimaraes spoke about the challenge of facing the world-class talent.

“I know him well, I’ve seen him in action so many times that I know how he plays,” Guimaraes said. “He is very fast, very lively, for me he is incredible, he is perhaps the best in the world. But I think I have contained it well. And when he passed, I made the mistake, twice. At the time, we exchanged a few words, he was not happy but it’s football.”

Guimaraes also talked about the Ligue de Football Professionnel’s (LFP) controversial April decision to cancel the remainder of the Ligue 1 season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lyon was closing in on a fifth-place standing that would have given them a Europa League qualification spot but finished just one point behind OGC Nice. Lyon ended up placing at seventh in the end-of-season league standings. He talked about why he did not agree with the final decision and on Neymar’s thoughts on the cancellation.

“No, I did not understand, because all the major European Championships have resumed except France, there were ten matches to play” Guimaraes explained. “The decision was rushed, everyone thinks it was a bad decision, not just for us or for Paris in relation to the Champions League but for all the teams, who could have lost less money. After the Coupe de la Ligue final, I talked about it with Neymar. Like me, he didn’t understand.”

PSG was crowned champions of Ligue 1 this past season and now will embark on defending its title when the new campaign kicks off later this month.

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Tags Bruno Guimaraes Coupe de la Ligue Neymar Olympique Lyonnais