Miralem Pjanić

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Miralem Pjanić
20150331 2025 AUT BIH 2130 Miralem Pjanić.jpg
Pjanić playing for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015
Personal information
Full name Miralem Pjanić[1]
Date of birth (1990-04-02) 2 April 1990 (age 25)
Place of birth Tuzla, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 15
Youth career
1997–2004 Schifflange 95
2004–2007 Metz
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Metz 32 (4)
2008–2011 Lyon 90 (10)
2011– Roma 147 (25)
National team
2006 Luxembourg U17 4 (5)
2006–2007 Luxembourg U19 3 (1)
2008– Bosnia and Herzegovina 65 (9)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 February 2016.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16 November 2015

Miralem Pjanić (born 2 April 1990) is a Bosnian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Italian club Roma and the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team.

A full international since 2008, Pjanić has earned over 60 caps for Bosnia and Herzegovina. He represented the nation at their first major tournament, the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

He was ranked 81st in The 100 best footballers in the world by The Guardian for 2013,[3] 58th[4] for 2014 and 55th[5] for 2015.

Early life[edit]

Pjanić was born on 2 April 1990 in Tuzla, SFR Yugoslavia, 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.[6] While in Luxembourg, Pjanić often attended training sessions and matches with his father.[7] 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 and 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.

Club career[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.[8] 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.[9] The following week, he earned his first start in a 2–0 defeat to Rennes.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13][14]

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.[15] 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.[16][17] 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.[18][19][20]

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.[21] Pjanić agreed to a five-year contract, while the transfer fee was priced at €7.5 million plus future incentives.[22] 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.[23][24] He made his league debut in the opening league match of the season against Toulouse playing the entire match in a 3–0 victory.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27]

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.[28] A couple of days later, he scored his first career league goal for the club, in which his side won 3–0 at Auxerre.[29] 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.[30] 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.[31] 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.[32]

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.[33] 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.[34][35]


Pjanić playing for Roma in 2012

On 31 August 2011, Pjanić agreed a four-year deal with the Italian club Roma, for €11 million transfer fee.[36][37][38] 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.[39]

On 11 May 2014, Pjanić signed a new contract which will last until 30 June 2018.[40] In a friendly tournament in Denver in July, he scored from inside his own half, but Roma lost 3–2 to Manchester United.[41] In the 2014–15 season, he became considered as a rising star in Italian football, scoring 5 times and assisting 10 goals.

In the 2015–16 season, Pjanić emerged as one of the world's finest free-kick takers, netting a brilliant goal against Juventus on 30 August and scoring several more, including in the Champions League against Bayer Leverkusen. By the January break, he had scored 7 goals and assisted another 5, being linked with a transfer to Barcelona and Real Madrid in the winter transfer window.[42]

International career[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.[43] Before making his decision regarding his national team status, Pjanić was eligible to represent Luxembourg and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

Pjanić playing for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015

In an interview for a Bosnian and Herzegovinian newspaper, Pjanić insisted that he only wanted to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina.[44] Eventually, officials in the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina took notice and Pjanić was called up to the country's under-21 team.[45] However, because Pjanić no longer had a Bosnian and Herzegovinian 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 Željko Komšić, a member of the three-person Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Pjanić finally received a Bosnian and Herzegovinian 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.[46] 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 match winner was scored in the 65th minute with Pjanić finding the net from almost 30 meters out.[47] 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.[48] 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.[49] 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.[50]

Personal life[edit]

Pjanić is a Muslim.[51] He has a son named Edin with his longtime girlfriend, Josefa from Nice, France.[52]

Along with his native Bosnian, Pjanić is fluent in 5 additional languages: Luxembourgish, French, English, German and Italian.[53][54][55]

Pjanić is enrolled at the University of Sarajevo, majoring in sport and physical education.[56]

Style of play[edit]

Pjanić has been described as an "old-fashioned playmaker with huge technical qualities".[57] Pjanić is usually deployed as a deep-lying playmaker, and is known for his passing, dribbling, and vision;[58] he is also a free-kick specialist, and was described as the best free-kick taker in the world in 2015, by renowned set-piece specialist Juninho.[59]

Career statistics[edit]


As of match played 7 February 2016.[60]
Club Season League Cup Other Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Metz 2007–08 Ligue 1 32 4 0 0 1 0 33 4
Lyon 2008–09 Ligue 1 20 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 23 0
2009–10 Ligue 1 37 6 0 0 2 0 14 5 53 11
2010–11 Ligue 1 30 3 0 0 1 0 8 1 39 4
2011–12 Ligue 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 5 1
Total 90 10 2 0 3 0 25 6 120 16
Roma 2011–12 Serie A 30 3 1 0 31 3
2012–13 Serie A 27 3 2 1 29 4
2013–14 Serie A 35 6 3 0 38 6
2014–15 Serie A 34 5 2 0 10 0 46 5
2015–16 Serie A 21 8 1 0 5 2 27 10
Total 147 25 9 1 15 2 171 28
Career total 269 39 11 1 4 0 40 8 324 48


As of match played 16 November 2015.[61]
National team Year Apps Goals
Bosnia and Herzegovina
2008 4 0
2009 9 0
2010 8 3
2011 9 1
2012 8 2
2013 8 2
2014 10 1
2015 9 0
Total 65 9

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Bosnia and Herzegovina's goal tally first.[62]
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 3 March 2010 Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Ghana
2. 3 September 2010 Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg  Luxembourg
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
3. 17 November 2010 Štadión Pasienky, Bratislava, Slovakia  Slovakia
4. 7 October 2011 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Luxembourg
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
5. 11 September 2012 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Latvia
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
6. 16 October 2012 Bilino Polje, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina  Lithuania
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
7. 6 February 2013 Stožice Stadium, Ljubljana, Slovenia  Slovenia
8. 7 June 2013 Skonto Stadium, Riga, Latvia  Latvia
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
9. 15 June 2014 Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil  Iran
2014 FIFA World Cup






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External links[edit]