Bruno Guimarães, who joined Lyon in the January 2020 transfer window from Athletico Paranaense, is one of the most promising Brazilian midfielders of his generation. It cost Lyon just over €22 million to capture the signature of the twenty-two year old, and it’s already beginning to look like a bargain.
Bruno Guimarães Rodriguez Moura, to give him his full name, settled immediately into the team and hit the ground running with some stand out performances in his first few matches in France, not least his dominant display in the 1-0 win against Juventus in the Champions League last 16 first leg tie at the Groupama Stadium.
It’s unusual for such a young player to be so immediately at ease in a new team, in a foreign country, with unfamiliar team mates and not even speaking the language, so it’s testament to his footballing brain, temperament and coolness under pressure that he was able to make such a seamless transition.
He is primarily a defensive midfielder, but he’s not a blood and thunder merchant, haring about into crunching challenges right, left and centre. His game is far more subtle, making timely interceptions and picking the pockets of opponents to convert defence into attack. He has an impressive array of short and long-range passing, can run with the ball and will contribute the occasional goal.
When he arrived in Lyon, Bruno Guimarães had just been voted into the Brazilian Serie A Team of the Season for 2019 and was fresh from leading Athletico Paranaense to a fifth place finish and Copa Libertadores qualification. That was in addition to their first ever Copa Brasil win, with Bruno Guimarães scoring the only goal in the first leg of the final, a 1-0 victory over Internacional in September 2019. They won the second leg 2-1 to seal the trophy.
Those achievements capped a highly successful two-and-a-half year spell at Athletico, following his arrival there from Serie D club Osasco Audax in 2017. He helped them win the Paranaense State Championship in both 2018 and 2019 and the Copa Sudamericana in 2018, scoring two goals on route to the final in which they edged out Colombian side Junior of Barranquilla on penalties after both legs ended 1-1.
Internationally, he has been a regular member of the Brazilian Olympic squad and was set to represent them at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics before the event was postponed. He joined up with the full ‘Seleção’ for the first time for the October 2020 friendlies and his talent should ensure that he earns the first of many caps in the very near future.
Olympique Lyonnais Sporting Director Juninho Pernambucano was instrumental in bringing Bruno Guimarães to the club. Juninho was one of the young Bruno’s boyhood idols and both came from a background of futsal in their native Brazil. If he can achieve half of the things his mentor did at Lyon, then Bruno Guimarães is set for a very fine career indeed.