In 2001, Juninho moved abroad to play for French club Olympique Lyonnais. Before his arrival at Lyon, the club had never won the French Ligue 1 championship. In his first year at the club, the championship was secured, and it was subsequently won seven seasons in a row. At Lyon, Juninho made himself especially noted for his accurate, powerful and varied set pieces.
Having been regarded as one of the world's greatest free kick takers of the present day and possibly one of the greatest of all time, in addition, he is an effective passer, having provided many assists, and his leadership abilities prompted Lyon manager Gérard Houllier to name him team captain.
On 26 May 2009, Juninho announced that he would leave Lyon at the end of the season as a free agent. Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas explained to the media that the club and Juninho agreed to cancel the last year of his contract. During the press conference, Juninho was sitting next to Aulas and left the press conference without saying a word.
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