Even though he only had time to play five matches in all competitions with the OL before the end of the competition, Bruno Guimarães had an immediate impact in Lyon's midfield.
For their first official match since the end of the 2019-20 Ligue 1 Uber Eats season, Olympique Lyonnais will challenge Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de la Ligue BKT Final on Friday. To overcome the Parisian juggernaut and lift their first trophy since 2012, Les Gones will be relying on their latest star signing, 22-year-old Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimarães, to come up with the goods.
Right down to business
Arriving in Lyon in the second half of February - after a qualifying tournament for the next Olympics with Brazil - former Athletico Paranaense player Guimarães only had the opportunity to play a handful of matches, but he made an immediate impact on OL's midfield.
The Rio de Janeiro native's vision, passing skills - both short and long - and technique helped to get OL firing on all cylinders going forward - and he also showed great commitment in ball recovery when momentum swung the other way.
During the period he played in Ligue 1 Uber Eats (three full games, two wins and one defeat), the Brazilian was both the hub of OL's midfield and one of its first scorers. He was OL's second-best tackler (24), just behind Marcelo (27), and third in the number of challenges madeed (41), behind Moussa Dembélé (51) and Marcelo (42). With his four interceptions, he ranked just behind Marcelo (7) in the category. Taking into account the entire 2019-20 season, he topped Les Gones' stats for possession recovery, with an average of 9.7 times per match, far ahead of nearest competitors Thiago Mendes (6.1) and Maxence Caqueret (6).
Bruno Guimarães was present during defensive phases, but was also heavily implicated as OL looked to get forward. With 247 balls played during the period, he topped this list too, along with Marcelo. With 192 passes, he attempted the most passes of any of Rudi Garcia's players - except for the ubiquitous Marcelo (213) - and was the most successful (175), ahead of Marcelo (174) and Jason Denayer (166).
But, unlike his two defensive team-mates, the South American did not confine himself to distributing the game from behind. He topped the list of passes leading directly to a shot on goal (five), ahead of Karl Toko Ekambi and Martin Terrier (4). He also managed four dribbles, second only to Houssem Aouar (5).
Convinced by Guimarães' performances with OL and in the pre-Olympic tournament, Brazilian coach Tite called him up to play for the Seleçao before football shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.So Bruno Guimaraes, who will surely have a chance to make his mark soon enough, has been given a rain check on national-team duty, but will be back to doing what he does best this Friday in the Coupe de la Ligue BKT Final against PSG.