Jean Michel Aulas on Juninho’s departure: “It’s regrettable, I would’ve liked to have been warned beforehand.”

In speaking with L’Équipe, Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas (72) discussed the departure of club legend turned sporting director, Juninho Pernambucano.

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Juninho is going to leave. How does this make you feel?“I’m sorry on a human level. He’s a quality person… He wants to rest and look to become a coach instead. But Lyon will always welcome him when he wants to come back. He’s one of those people who have participated in several victories, so we’re not going to take a negative position towards him at all.”

Do you regret his decision?“Yes, it’s regrettable, and I would’ve liked to have been warned beforehand… However, it doesn’t change our feelings towards Juni and he will always be at home here.”

Was the difficult relationship with [director of football] Vincent Ponsot the reason for his weariness?“Juni was tired, you could see it… He wasn’t happy, you could tell… he was struggling to take on a role in a large organization… It didn’t work, but that doesn’t make Juni a bad person, he’s a very good person and we will do everything to keep him close to OL.”


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