Juninho rules out Euro return
Brazilian playmaker feels he is too old to compete at the highest level
By Patrick Haond. Last Updated: November 30, 2010 2:22pm
Juninho: Lyon legend
Juninho is hoping to return to Lyon in the future, but will come back in a coaching capacity not as a player.
The Brazilian playmaker is a legend at Stade Gerland having spent eight successful years with the club between 2001 and 2009.
He left for Qatari outfit Al-Gharaffa in June last year, keen to experience a different way of life before hanging up his boots.
Reports have recently suggested that he was a possible target for Aston Villa, with Gerard Houllier having already snapped up 37-year-old Robert Pires.
An emotional return to Lyon has also been touted, with the club in need of a spark to ignite their season.
Juninho, though, insists he has no plans to head back to Europe any time soon.
He admits that he would welcome the opportunity to join the backroom staff at Lyon in the future, but is fully focused on his playing career in Doha for now.
"I will be 36 in January so a comeback now is impossible," Juninho told France Football.
"I am preparing myself to go back to Lyon at some point, even if I don't know yet when I will hang up my boots.
"I would like to take a role helping the team and the coach. Hopefully we can find such a role. We will have to discuss it and see if it is what I really want.
"When I left Lyon I spoke with the chairman and he told me he wanted me to come back at some point and form part of a new project."
Reiterating the fact that he considers himself to be too old for a return to top level football, Juninho added: "A comeback at Lyon would have brought experience but I am not sure if the coach would have wanted it.
"Sometimes footballers can bring more than just playing qualities, like Robert Pires at Aston Villa.
"He will probably only play four games in 10, but he offers a lot to the team. That culture doesn't exist in France."