Jean-Michel Aulas: "I want to reach the highest level"
Groupama Stadium turns three
"It was the longest fight of my life. There were times when everything seemed so difficult and risky that I questioned myself. But when you're tenacious, it's for life. It's part of my character. It can be expensive, but the satisfaction is that much more when it turns out to be a success. A big city needs a zenith because there is none in Lyon. It was lacking and we played the role of private investor to build a zenith. We will work on this project for 15,000-seat hall to develop activities such as seminars... Tony Parker is doing something very relevant with ASVEL. We've gotten along well and we've been talking for a while."
Coupe de la Ligue exit
"This elimination hurts, but we will manage it well. The players were not successful. There are statistics that mitigate the disappointment. In any case, we can't go back. We must draw the conclusions and use them... This defeat is emotionally unbearable. But 2019 will be a great year, I'm sure of it. We must prepare for the next challenges. We have a good team that is very well managed. We still have everything to play for in the three remaining best competitions. The players have pride."
"Nothing has been finished. We've spoken with a number of players who interest us for the future. There are no discussions with a central defender. There is also Oumar Solet, who is getting stronger... For this summer, the transfer window will depend on the situation of the club at the end of the season. We will try not to lose all our players because we are in demand. We will probably let one or two players go and we will try to strengthen in defense or midfield."
An extension for Bruno Genesio?
"It would not be a good solution to deal with it right now. It would be too much pressure in relation to the objectives. My greatest wish is for Bruno to succeed at OL. He's making progress. There is great trust between him and me. We will get to work so that the objectives are achieved... What makes a great coach? For me, it's a coach who matches the DNA and the configuration of the club. The relationship with the players and the one with the leaders are two essential criteria, and Bruno responds in both aspects."
The future of OL
"The president's job is to imagine the future and give consistency to a dream. We are constantly thinking about the future. We must now capitalize on the investments we have made. It's now necessary to enter a phase of winning trophies. My desire is clearly to reach the highest level and reach the quarterfinals, semifinals or even the final of the European Cup in the coming years. We will continue to invest ... and we will gradually move closer to it. You have to be patient."
Thoughts on his critics
"There are obviously people who don't appreciate what we are doing. Football is passionate and can be negative. But it is a minority of the population. At every stadium we visit, OL is very loved and appreciated. Even in the most remote countries, there is admiration for everything that has been done. The OL model that has been designed against all odds is a reference, even abroad. To me, it's a reaction based on jealousy."
"The forecast in terms of management is always important when one has responsibilities. Things have been planned, but we can't talk about it. It is neither offensive nor dishonorable to think that the future can be done in another context. It would be a mistake not to think about it when you are 70 years old. This project can attract investors. To keep moving forward, you have to be ready for any eventuality. I have the ambition to win a title before leaving - and, if possible, winning the European Cup."