Stéphane Roche, now the Academy Director at Dijon FCO, has worked for both Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique Lyonnais. He discussed both ahead of their meeting on Sunday.
Roche played nearly 150 games as a midfieler for Lyon in the late 1980s and ’90s before spending 10 years as an academy coach with les Gones, helping produce talents like Alexandre Lacazette and Corentin Tolisso before his 2019 move to PSG.
Speaking to l’Equipe, he reflected on the difference between the two sides’ philosophies.
“Lyon has always had a collective mindset, training players to serve the good of the team,” he said. “Afterwarfs, their individual quality can stand out. Tolisso, [Nabil] Fekir, [Jordan] Ferri, [Clinton] Njié, [Maxime] Gonalons or Lacazette were very good players but were not considered like [Hatem] Ben Arfa or [Anthony] Martial, made for the very top level.
“A Lyon game in training will be focused on collective mastery, whereas in Paris individual talent is expressed more, which is also more specific to the PSG first team.
“But these are two great schools of life, of sport. Above all, there’s a generational transfer. [Presnel] Kimpembe played that role, despite everything; in Lyon, Tolisso and Lacazette returned to play the role of big brothers with the youngsters who come through. It’s very important to maintain this link, to always be able to hand over to the next generation.”