Poor Anthony Lopes. The hits just keep on coming. Not only did he miss the final three games of last season due to a suspension, but the LFP later increased it to 5, which forced him to miss the first two games this year as well. And while there’s no worse punishment than watching Mathieu Gorgelin take his place, a close second would be losing the vice-captaincy in such a public way, which is what happened when Bruno Genesio announced that the position would now be given to Marcelo.
During today’s press conference, Genesio reaffirmed that decision, saying he wanted to take the weight of captaincy from Lopes, which would allow him to “improve” further. To his credit, Lopes agreed to it, admitting that “he’s reaping what he sowed” and that he’s become more mature after his suspension.
It’s good to see him taking it in stride, and it leaves the door open for him to regain his post. With Nabil Fekir sure to depart next year, and with Marcelo’s own future at Lyon uncertain, Lopes could still be a future captain of the team.
He’s a much loved figure by the fans, and it’s clear to everyone that at heart, he’s a fan too. In this age of players dreaming for clubs like Barcelona, it’s nice to see a guy whose dream it is to play for Lyon, and it’s easy to imagine him staying there for his entire career. He’s a top goalkeeper and would have been best keeper of the league last year if it hadn’t been for his suspension. The club certainly has no plans to replace him (though they could do with a better backup).
But Lopes has a temper. You just know that he’s one of the Bad Gones. He’s got such the reputation that people are making clips of him in FIFA taking down players. Jokes about Castagne FC aside, his suspension is only one example out of many.
To recap, during last season’s match at the Velodrome, the game became heated, and par for the course, both sides bemoaned unfair refereeing. It ended with a bitter 2-3 win for Lyon. Everyone was already angry, so when Marcelo sassed an OM player, tensions boiled over and quickly led to a fight. Lopes somehow ended up in the middle, and in the struggles, slapped a Marseille steward upside the head.
Though to be fair, he often times is the victim too. There was the time that someone threw a firecracker at him against Metz, and against Everton, an English player pushed him down, and then a spectator holding a child slapped him.