Interview with Miralem Pjanic: This team wants revenge

The Bosnian spoke to SPORT about the season ahead and his feelings right now

Pjanic: Este equipo quiere revancha | Javi Giraldo/Maite Jiménez

Javier Giraldo

Maite Jiménez

He is nicknamed the ‘Pianist’. And the sensations he transmits with the ball are also emitted through a screen, during this video interview. Serene, with slow speech, typical of someone who has already accumulated many miles in the log without losing hope, Miralem Pjanic arrives at Barça after two attempts by the club to sign him. In the locker room they already call him 'Mire'. And there, there is already talk of the team's great determination - to show the 8-2 was just an accident.

-What feelings have you taken from your first days at Barça?

It's been very good. Unfortunately, I was not able to join up before because of Covid-19, but things are going very well. At first I trained alone and then with the team. Physically I am working hard to get ready as soon as possible. I'm trying to adapt to the team and the dressing room, learn the language, communicate with my teammates. My first impressions are very good. I'm looking forward to the start of the season, hopefully it's a good year.

-You come to a team in full transition. Are you not afraid that it is a bad time to sign for Barça?

It is never a bad moment to come to Barça. Barça is a team designed to win everything. It may be that last year was not a good season and that it ended badly. Things did not turn out as they had imagined, but think about all the teams that each year are built to win, and logically not all of them can win. It is not easy to win titles. It was a strange season for everyone, with the coronavirus: we were unemployed for several months, then we had to start almost suddenly, with a strange calendar and no fans at the grounds.

-How do you view your new teammates?

Very motivated. From what they tell me, the training sessions have changed a lot. This team wants to take revenge for what happened in Lisbon and show that it was a huge accident. Our goal is to go step by step: starting with the league, which will not be easy. And in the Champions League, there will be five or six candidates to win the trophy. Starting in March, a new season will begin within the season itself, with the knockout stages of the Champions League and the decisive stretch of the league championship; that's where we have to be at full throttle.

-You say that in the dressing room there is already talk of revenge...

These players have already earned the respect of the football world and I don't think they have to prove anything to anyone. But in football there are accidents, and I don't think there is a Barça player who doesn't want to show that 8-2 was just that, an accident. I do not have any doubt. I have spoken with some of them and they have not lost an ounce of self-confidence. Last year was not easy for anyone, but I am sure that this year we will have a good season, because we have good players. Nothing is easy in today's game. We know that Barça is undergoing changes, perhaps the newcomers will need some time to adapt, but we will succeed.

-The departure of Suárez is the greatest change, right?

It's difficult because he is one of the best forwards in the world. He will not be easy to replace it. Whoever comes, or whoever plays in that position, should try not to notice their absence, but it will not be an easy task. We are talking about one of the two or three best forwards in the world. It will be a great loss, also for the dressing room.

-What about Koeman?

Good sensations. We're working a lot. We try to adapt to his ideas and apply them on the field. We work very hard, something that seems to have changed a lot compared to last year. The workouts are tough. Now we have to prove it on the field, in the first game. Starting out winning would give us a lot of confidence.

-You were just a child, but Koeman has been a hero for Barcelona since 1992.

I know. He was a great player. Now he's the coach, and he's also very motivated. He is a very confident coach who believes in his ideas. We saw it with the Netherlands, they did very well in recent years. He is happy to have come to Barça and eager to show his qualities as a coach.

-What did you learn in French football?

Technique and physique, but also to perform at the highest level. I came to Lyon at 18 and shared a dressing room with players like Juninho, Benzema, Cris or Gouvou. It was a huge learning curve.

-And in Italian football?

Mostly tactical knowledge. I had great coaches: Luis Enrique, Rudi García, Allegri, Spalletti, etc. I also learned to be physically better prepared to face all the games. Now I know my body better, both physically and mentally. I imagine that at Barça it will be different, here there will be less tactics, but more technical quality. But I hope to keep learning. I have played more than 600 games, I think I have some experience, and I am going to play with footballers who also know the game, but I want to continue learning.

-Also... languages. You already speak six.

Yes, French, German, Bosnian, Luxembourgish, Italian and English. Now it's time for Spanish.



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