Pjanić in action for Roma in 2012
|Full name||Miralem Pjanić|
|Date of birth||2 April 1990|
|Place of birth||Zvornik, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2008–||Bosnia and Herzegovina||46||(8)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 October 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Miralem Pjanić (born 2 April 1990) is a Bosnian footballer who plays for Serie A club Roma and the Bosnian national team. He plays as an attacking midfielder and has been described as an "old-fashioned playmaker with huge technical qualities".
Pjanić developed an interest in football through his father, a former third division football player in SFR Yugoslavia, and began his football career in Luxembourg following his family's arrival to the country shortly before the outbreak of the war in Bosnia. In 2004, after attracting interest from a host of external clubs, Pjanić joined French club FC Metz and made his debut in the 2007–08 season at the age of 17. After a successful season, in June 2008, he joined Olympique Lyonnais on a five-year contract. With Lyon, Pjanić made his UEFA Champions League debut in 2008 and, in the following season, helped the club reach the semi-finals.
Pjanić was formerly a youth international for Luxembourg and represented the national team at under-17 and under-19 level. He played at the 2006 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship scoring the team's lone goal at the competition. In 2008, Pjanić opted to pursue a senior international career with his birth country Bosnia and Herzegovina and made his debut in August 2008. He scored his first international goal two years later in March 2010 against Ghana.
Early life and career
He was born on 2 April 1990 in Zvornik, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, to father Fahrudin and mother Fatima. He developed an interest in football through his father, a former third division football player in Yugoslavia, and began his football career in Luxembourg following his family's arrival to the country shortly before the outbreak of the war in Bosnia. While in Luxembourg, Pjanić often attended training sessions and matches with his father. At the age of seven, his father discovered that he had the talent and an interest in football and allowed his son to join local club FC Schifflange 95 in Schifflange. While at Schifflange, Pjanić drew interest from several Belgian, Dutch, German clubs, but agreed to join FC Metz in France in 2004. Metz had discovered the player through former player and Luxembourg international Guy Hellers. Pjanić joined Metz at age 14 and spent approximately three years in the club's academy. In the 2005–06 season, he played on the under-16 team that won the Championnat National des 16 ans and, in the 2007–08 season, he was called up by the First Team: so Miralem made his professional football debut, at the age of 17, on 18 August 2007 in a league match against Paris Saint-Germain. In total, in his first year in Ligue1, Pjanić made 38 appearances and scored 4 goals with Metz. For his efforts, he was nominated for the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award, won by Hatem Ben Arfa. Though, Pjanić was in great form throughout the season, Metz still suffered relegation back to Ligue 2.
Pjanić joined at age 14 on a youth contract and spent approximately three years in the club's academy. In the 2005–06 season, he played on the under-16 team that won the Championnat National des 16 ans and, following the season, signed a five-year élite contract with the club. After spending the 2006–07 season with the club's under-18 team, Pjanić was promoted to the club's amateur team in the Championnat de France amateur for the 2007–08 season. He appeared in the first two matches of the campaign before earning a call up to the senior team by manager Francis De Taddeo. Pjanić made his professional football debut, at the age of 17, on 18 August 2007 in a league match against Paris Saint-Germain. He appeared as a substitute in a 0–0 draw. The following week, he earned his first start in a 2–0 defeat to Rennes.
After a string of respectable appearances, on 30 November 2007, Pjanić signed his first professional contract agreeing to a three-year deal, tying him to Metz until 2010. After becoming professional, he was assigned the number 15 shirt. Pjanić scored his first professional goal for Metz on 15 December 2007 in a 2–1 defeat against Sochaux converting on a penalty in the 88th minute, thus becoming one of the youngest players to score a goal in Ligue 1 history. Among his other positive performances included converting another penalty in a 2–1 loss to Nice and scoring on the final day of the season against Le Mans in a thrilling 4–3 victory.
Pjanić's play in the Coupe de France was with distinction as well appearing in and starting all four matches the club contested. He assisted on several goals in the club's 6–1 demolition of Vesoul Haute-Saône. In the ensuing round, Pjanić scored the final goal in Metz's 3–0 triumph over Strasbourg and played the full 90 minutes in the club's 1–0 win over Lorient in the Round of 16 helping the club who were, at the time, struggling in domestic play, reach the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France. Metz were eventually eliminated by the eventual champions Lyon. In total, Pjanić made 38 appearances and scored 4 goals with Metz. For his efforts, he was nominated for the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award, won by Hatem Ben Arfa.
Though, Pjanić was in great form throughout the season, Metz still suffered relegation back to Ligue 2 prompting speculation on where the young starlet would play the following season with a host of clubs, notably English clubs Arsenal and Chelsea, Spanish clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid, Italian clubs Milan and Internazionale, and French club Olympique Lyonnais vying for his services.
Despite Metz receiving numerous offers for the player's services, on 6 June 2008, Pjanić and Metz both reached an agreement with Olympique Lyonnais for the transfer of the player. Pjanić agreed to a five-year contract, while the transfer fee was priced at €7.5 million plus future incentives. On signing with the club, Pjanić stated, "I am pleased with the transfer and very happy to have come to a great club such as Olympique Lyonnais. I am here to win trophies and don't feel sorry to have declined other offers to be here in Gerland. Lyonnais F.C has a great team which can go far in the Champions League next year."
Labeled as the future replacement for the aging Juninho, Pjanić was initially given the number 12 shirt, but switched to the number 18 for pre-season and made his club debut in the team's Trophée des Champions defeat to Bordeaux. He made his league debut in the opening league match of the season against Toulouse playing the entire match in a 3–0 victory. Pjanić's debut season with Lyon was cut in half after fracturing his fibula in a match against Sochaux in October 2008, as a result of a bad tackle by Stéphane Dalmat. Despite initially being diagnosed as missing a month, he missed two months and made his return on 3 January 2009 in the club's 6–0 thrashing of amateur club US Concarneau in the Coupe de France playing 66 minutes.
For the 2009–10 season, Pjanić switched to the number 8 shirt, formerly worn by his predecessor and Lyon great Juninho. He started the season strong scoring his first career goal for Lyon on a free kick in Lyon's playoff round match against Belgian club Anderlecht in the UEFA Champions League. Lyon won the match 5–1. A couple of days later, he scored his first career league goal for the club, in which his side won 3–0 at Auxerre. Pjanić continued his stellar play in the Champions League scoring the only goal in the club's opening group stage match against Italian club Fiorentina. In the club's second group stage match against Hungarian club Debreceni, he scored again, via free kick, and also assisted on two other goals in the club's 4–0 victory. On 10 March 2010, Pjanić scored the equalizing goal in Lyon's 1–1 draw with Spanish club Real Madrid in the second leg of their first knockout round tie in the UEFA Champions League. The draw sent Lyon through to the quarterfinals due to their 1–0 win in the first leg at the Stade Gerland.
Pjanić began the 2010–11 season as a starter and featured in the team's first three games. However, following the arrival of Yoann Gourcuff, he began appearing as a substitute and, subsequently, appeared as a substitute in the team's next seven league matches. On 29 September 2010, Pjanić scored his first goal of the season in the team's 3–1 win over Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv in the UEFA Champions League. As a result of his good form, Claude Puel began experimenting playing both Gourcuff and Pjanić in the midfield, but after playing the two in a 2–0 win over Portuguese club Benfica in the Champions League and a 1–1 draw with Rennes in the league, this tactic was abandoned.
On 31 August 2011, Pjanić agreed a four-year deal with the Italian club Roma, reportedly valued at €11 million. He scored his first goal for Roma against Lecce. He scored again in a 5–1 win over Cesena. He scored his third goal for Roma against Bologna, the equalizer in a 1–1 draw.
He started the 2012–13 season mostly on the bench. He got his chance in Derby della Capitale and scored a goal. From that game, he started playing regularly and scored one more goal in 2–0 win over Torino and one in the Coppa Italia against Atalanta. In the 2013–14 season, under new Roma coach Rudi Garcia, he's a starter in the 4-3-3 midfield, playing a key role to the team's Serie A record of ten wins in the first ten season matches.
Due to spending his early teens in Luxembourg, Pjanić became eligible for their national team and begun representing the nation's youth sides. He represented Luxembourg in the 2006 European Under-17 Championship, for which Luxembourg qualified automatically as hosts. He scored Luxembourg's only goal of the tournament. In that same year, he scored 4 goals in a match against Belgium, which ended in a 5–5 draw. Before making his decision regarding his national team status, Pjanić was eligible to represent Luxembourg and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In an interview for a Bosnian newspaper, Pjanić insisted that he only wanted to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Eventually, officials in the Bosnian FA took notice and Pjanić was called up to the country's under-21 team. However, because Pjanić no longer had a Bosnian passport and needed FIFA-approval to switch nationalities, he wasn't allowed call ups to the senior team. An 8-month ordeal took place amidst great media scrutiny. Finally, following the involvement of a member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina presidency Željko Komšić, Pjanić finally received a Bosnian passport in early 2008. Pjanić made his highly anticipated debut for Bosnia-Herzegovina on 20 August 2008 in the team's 2–1 loss to Bulgaria. On 3 March 2010, he scored his first international goal for Bosnia-Herzegovina in the team's 2–1 win over Ghana in Sarajevo. The game-winning goal was scored in the 65th minute with Pjanić finding the net from almost 30 meters out. He scored his second goal for Bosnia against his former national team, Luxembourg, with a free-kick from 25 meters out.
- (Correct as of 14 August 2013)
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||2008–09||7||0||2|
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- "Bosnia-Herzegovina 1–2 Bulgaria". ESPN. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
- [dead link]
- "Miralem Pjanic Master Linguist, Fat Joe Fan | FORZA ROMA, Ep. 2". YouTube. 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
- "Miralem Pjanić poziva djevojku na piće na pet jezika". Klix.ba. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
- Miralem Pjanic NT Stats, footballdatabase.eu. Retrieved 22 September 2012
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Miralem Pjanić.|
- Miralem Pjanić French league stats at LFP.fr (French)
- Pjanić Profile at Olympique Lyonnais Official Website
- Miralem Pjanić career statistics at Soccernet