Miralem Pjanić

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Miralem Pjanić
Pjanić 2012.jpg
Pjanić in action for Roma in 2012
Personal information
Full name Miralem Pjanić[1]
Date of birth (1990-04-02) 2 April 1990 (age 24)
Place of birth Zvornik, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Roma
Number 15
Youth career
1997–2004 Schifflange 95
2004–2007 Metz
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Metz 32 (3)
2008–2011 Lyon 90 (10)
2011– Roma 90 (12)
National team
2005–2007 Luxembourg U17 4 (5)
2007 Luxembourg U19 3 (1)
2008– Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 (9)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 25 April 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 25 June 2013

Miralem Pjanić (born 2 April 1990) is a Bosnian professional footballer who plays for Serie A club Roma and the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team, as a central midfielder. He has been described as an "old-fashioned playmaker with huge technical qualities".[3] Pjanić has also been described as a great technician with excellent dribbling abilities and incisive passing. He is considered to be a versatile midfielder, having played in different midfield positions.

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 and Herzegovina. 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.

He was ranked 81st in The 100 best footballers in the world by The Guardian.[4]

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

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 and Herzegovina.[5] While in Luxembourg, Pjanić often attended training sessions and matches with his father.[6] 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 Ligue 1, 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.

Metz[edit]

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.[7] 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.[8] The following week, he earned his first start in a 2–0 defeat to Rennes.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12][13]

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.[14] 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.[15][16] 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.[17][18][19]

Olympique Lyonnais[edit]

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.[20] Pjanić agreed to a five-year contract, while the transfer fee was priced at €7.5 million plus future incentives.[21] 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.[22][23] He made his league debut in the opening league match of the season against Toulouse playing the entire match in a 3–0 victory.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26]

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.[27] A couple of days later, he scored his first career league goal for the club, in which his side won 3–0 at Auxerre.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30] 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.[31]

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.[32] 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.[33][34]

Roma[edit]

On 31 August 2011, Pjanić agreed a four-year deal with the Italian club Roma, for €11 million transfer fee.[35][36][37] 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.

Miralem Pjanić has scored 6 goals and has made numerous assists thus far in 2013–14 Serie A season. On April 25 2014 Miralem Pjanić scored the first Roma goal in their 2-0 victory over A.C. Milan; the goal was a wonderful individual display from Pjanić, as he dribbled past Sulley Muntari, Riccardo Montolivo, and Adil Rami before putting the ball in the right side of the net and scoring. [38]

On 11 May 2014 Pjanić signed a new contract which will last until 30 June 2018.[39]

In 26 July 2014, Pjanić incredibly scored from his own half during a 3-2 defeat to Manchester United in their International Champions Cup game in Denver.[40]

International career[edit]

Luxembourg[edit]

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.[41] Before making his decision regarding his national team status, Pjanić was eligible to represent Luxembourg and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

In an interview for a Bosnia and Herzegovinan newspaper, Pjanić insisted that he only wanted to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina.[42] Eventually, officials in the Bosnia and Herzegovinan FA took notice and Pjanić was called up to the country's under-21 team.[43] However, because Pjanić no longer had a Bosnia and Herzegovinan passport and needed FIFA-approval to switch nationalities, he wasn't allowed call ups to the senior team. An eight-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 Bosnia and Herzegovinan passport in early 2008. Pjanić made his highly anticipated debut for Bosnia and Herzegovina on 20 August 2008 in the team's 2–1 loss to Bulgaria.[44] 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 and Herzegovina against his former national team, Luxembourg, with a free-kick from 25 meters out.

During the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, Pjanić scored three goals and made four assists in nine appearances to help the Dragons qualify for their first ever FIFA World Cup.[45] He was named in Bosnia and Herzegovina's squad for 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, and started the team's first match, a 2–1 defeat to Argentina at the Estádio do Maracanã.[46] On 25 June, during the final group match against Iran, Pjanić scored in a 3–1 victory to help Bosnia-Herzegovina to their first ever FIFA World Cup win.[47]

Personal life[edit]

Pjanić is a Muslim.[48] He has a son named Edin with his longtime girlfriend, Josefa from Nice, France.[49] His cousin, Nusmir Pjanić, was killed in May 2014 while fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Syrian civil war. Sources indicate he used the nom de guerre Hamza Esed and was killed by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).[50][51]

Along with his native Bosnian, Pjanić is fluent in 5 additional languages: Luxembourgish, French, English, German and Italian.[52][53][54]

Pjanić is enrolled at the University of Sarajevo, majoring in sport and physical education.[55]

Career statistics[edit]

International[edit]

As of 25 June 2014.[56]
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Year Apps Goals
2008 4 0
2009 9 0
2010 8 3
2011 9 1
2012 8 2
2013 8 2
2014 5 1
Total 51 9

International goals[edit]

Scores and results table. Bosnia and Herzegovina's goal tally first:[57]
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Ref.
1. 3 March 2010 Koševo Stadium, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Ghana 2–1 2–1 Friendly [58]
2. 3 September 2010 Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg  Luxembourg 2–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying [59]
3. 17 November 2010 Štadión Pasienky, Bratislava, Slovakia  Slovakia 2–1 3–2 Friendly [60]
4. 7 October 2011 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Luxembourg 4–0 5–0 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying [61]
5. 11 September 2012 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Latvia 2–1 4–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification [62]
6. 16 October 2012 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Lithuania 3–0 3–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification [63]
7. 6 February 2013 Stožice Stadium, Ljubljana, Slovenia  Slovenia 2–0 3–0 Friendly [64]
8. 7 June 2013 Skonto Stadium, Riga, Latvia  Latvia 4–0 5–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification [65]
9. 25 June 2014 Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil  Iran 2–0 3–1 2014 FIFA World Cup [66]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Metz
Lyon
Roma

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Miralem Pjanić". ESPN. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Sky Sports Scout – Miralem Pjanic". Sky Sports. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "The 100 best footballers in the world 2013 – interactive". The Guardian. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Lipiński, Tomasz (10 December 2013). "M(v)P". Piłka Nożna (in Polish) (Profus Management) (50/2013 (2111)): 31. ISSN 0137-4710. 
  6. ^ Wilson, Jonathan (20 October 2009). "Lyon's Miralem Pjanic holds key to unlocking Liverpool". London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "5 ans pour Pjanic" (in French). FC Metz. 15 June 2006. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "Metz v. PSG Match Report" (in French). Ligue de Football Professionnel. 18 August 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
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  55. ^ http://www.sport.ba/druga-strana-sporta/znate-li-sta-studiraju-dzeko-pjanic-spahic/
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  57. ^ "soccerway.com M. Pjanić summary". soccerway.com. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  58. ^ "Bosnia vs Ghana Lineups and Statistics - Goal.com". goal.com. 3 March 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  59. ^ "Pjanić pulls Bosnian strings in Luxembourg". uefa.com. 3 September 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  60. ^ "Slovakia 2-3 Bosnia-Herzegovina: Dzeko On Target In Deserved Win". goal.com. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  61. ^ "Bosnia and Herzegovina bowl over Luxembourg". uefa.com. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
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  63. ^ "Bosnia and Herzegovina - Lithuania (Pjanić International Goal)". fifa.com. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  64. ^ "Slovenia-Bosnia and Herzegovina (Pjanić International Goal)". uefa.com. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  65. ^ "Latvia - Bosnia and Herzegovina (Pjanić International Goal)". fifa.com. 7 June 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  66. ^ "Bosnia and Herzegovina – Iran (Pjanić International Goal)". fifa.com. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 

External links[edit]