Corentin Tolisso transferred from Olympique Lyonnais to Bayern Munich in 2017 and now finds himself about to face his beloved home team in the semifinals of the Champions League. Tolisso described his feelings in an interview with L’Equipe.
“It’s quite exceptional,” he said. “Leaving Lyon, I always wondered when I’d be able to play against them, but I never imagined it’d be in the semifinals of the Champions League. I’m really happy I’ll be able see everyone, my ex-teammates, the staff... It’ll be a very, very big game. They’ve had a super campaign, eliminating Juventus and Manchester City.”
Tolisso is not surprised by Lyon’s quality — he watches all their matches whenever he can. “Their main strong point is the midfield. Houssem Aouar and Maxence Caqueret do an enormous amount of work, with Guimaraes too. The three of them run a ton; they’re three technicians and can get the ball out.”
Bayern Munich will not underestimate Lyon, Tolisso argues. “Lyon are in the semi-finals of the Champions League, and I don’t think a team gets there by chance.”
Bayern’s own form gives Tolisso confidence, going into the match: “I’m happy that we are playing at this level; I know that we are capable of doing it, and in many matches. It doesn’t date back three weeks; we’ve been playing like this for a while. Moreover, we had maximum success against Barça because most of our shots went in. But tactically, we are at our best, and we have very high-quality players.”
Committed to Bayern
For the better part of the season, Tolisso was rumored to be a transfer candidate. Now, however, Tolisso says he intends to stay. He gave a balanced assessment of his time at Bayern:
“I changed clubs to improve,” he said. “In my first year, I showed what I was capable of. Afterwards, I didn’t play at all because of an ACL injury. The third season started well, and then I played less and also had a serious injury. But by developing at Bayern, I’ve been able to discover a playing style. Being on a team that is fighting to win the Champions League is something else.”
Tolisso confirmed that he has spoken with coach Hansi Flick and feels confident in staying at Bayern. “I see my future at Bayern,” Tolisso said. “It is one of the best clubs in the world today, if not the best. I have had injuries but now I am feeling well. I was able to speak with the coach; I know he is counting on me.”
Most recently, Tolisso scored a spectacular volley goal against Chelsea (76’) after coming off the bench for the final 20 minutes of the match.