In a major interview with L’Equipe, goalkeeper Anthony Lopes spoke about the failed season of Olympique Lyonnais (8th in Ligue 1), speaking of an “unforgivable” fault.
At the final whistle of an anonymous away victory in Clermont (1-2), Olympique Lyonnais’ season ended on Saturday and everyone is already trying to forget it. Anthony Lopes is no exception: the Rhone goalkeeper, although performing individually, had a very bad experience of this 2021-2022 exercise, the worst in the recent history of the club, which saw OL finish in eighth place, without qualification for a European Cup. In a long interview with L’Equipe, the Portuguese confided in this collective “shame”.
“It’s a feeling, how can I put it… It’s very, very hard. Shame is a very strong word, but that’s it, anyway. It’s unforgivable, he judged. By being the OL, with the players we have in our squad, we can’t finish eighth. This season has been catastrophic for everyone, in every way. I just tell myself that it was better for everything to happen at the same time .” The club was notably weighed down by its defense, which conceded 51 goals, even though Lopes was rather level.
Juninho’s departure weighed
“At the start, we were criticized for finishing matches badly, then for half-time out of two… We got together, sometimes, to say that we couldn’t accept that, but we have to join the actions to words and that, it was more complicated”, he continued. The departure of sporting director Juninho in December has particularly affected the Brazilians. “He made the decision to leave at a difficult time in the season, and it could have taken a toll on the morale of some players, like Lucas (Paqueta) or Bruno (Guimaraes, who left for Newcastle in January), all those who were close to him,” confirmed Lopes.
These sporting difficulties necessarily had an impact on the morale of the Lyon troops. “The day after the matches, we all have our heads down, we talk a little less, there are fewer smiles. Everything that came out, the incidents, is linked to the results”, admitted the Portuguese goalkeeper . While Lyon will spend a year without Europe, he called for “sporting change”, unable to “design another season like this”.