Bruno Guimaraes: Newcastle can win Champions League

Special Bruno Guimaraes: Newcastle can win Champions League
Newcastle United's Bruno Guimaraes during the presentation on February 7, 2022. (Reuters)
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Updated 07 February 2022

Bruno Guimaraes: Newcastle can win Champions League

Bruno Guimaraes: Newcastle can win Champions League
  • Brazilian midfielder made ambitious statement at his official unveiling ahead of Tuesday’s Everton clash

NEWCASTLE: Bruno Guimaraes believes a realistic aim for Newcastle United is not only qualifying for the Champions League, but winning the tournament.

The Brazilian international made the remarkable statement at his first press unveiling since making the $55.6 million switch to St James’ Park from Ligue 1 outfit Lyon last week.

Guimaraes and his ambitions are the talk of Tyneside after he lay down the marker ahead of his expected Premier League debut this evening against Everton.

“This is a club that is going to be a big power in world football,” said the 24-year-old. “There is something special about joining a project at the start — and the respect the fans give you for that.

“This is an historic club with a great tradition and a beautiful history. I have no doubts about my decision to come to Newcastle.”

Guimaraes, who Eddie Howe hinted may be eased into life in the top flight, was very clear about the club’s ideal short and long-term aims.

And it sounds like he has not come to Newcastle to mess around, despite their lowly position — 19th — in the top flight table.

He said: “They were very upfront and honest about it. They didn’t disguise that the main objective and challenge was remaining in the Premier League this season.

“But in the seasons coming, the objective is to be in the Champions League and eventually to win the Champions League,” Guimaraes added. “I am someone who is driven by challenges.”

Guimaraes, who will wear the No. 39 as a tribute to his taxi driver father in his homeland, has revealed that he spoke in-depth with a number of his international teammates before making the switch to Tyneside — and even took in the word of a former NUFC defender, now a coach in France.

The likable, positive new signing also gave a nod to Newcastle’s history, wishing his best to the first ever Brazilian to play in English football, United’s own 1980s star, Mirandinha.

He said: “I would like to send my best wishes to Mirandinha and to say thanks and send my regards to Claudio Cacapa (former Newcastle defender), who is a coach at Lyon.

“He encouraged me to come here and told me so much about the club.”

Conversations with Manchester United’s Alex Telles, Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus and Chelsea’s Thiago Silva also helped swing the balance in Newcastle’s favour, with the likes of Arsenal and Juventus also keen on the player.

Guimaraes added: “They told me how difficult it is to play away at Newcastle given how passionate the fans are, that it’s one of the most difficult away fixtures in the league, so I didn’t have to think twice about coming here.

“It has always been my dream to play in the Premier League — I have made no secret of that,” he said. “And Newcastle have presented a very interesting project, and I am very happy with the faith the directors and the president placed in me.

“I am a central midfielder who likes possession of the ball, and I am looking forward to helping my teammates, the club and the manager.”