Pjanić with Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015
|Full name||Miralem Pjanić|
|Date of birth||2 April 1990|
|Place of birth||Tuzla, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2008–||Bosnia and Herzegovina||69||(11)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 24 September 2016.
After playing for French sides Metz and Lyon, he came to prominence during his time in Serie A with Roma, which led to a transfer to Juventus in 2016. 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.
Pjanić was born on 2 April 1990 in Tuzla, SFR Yugoslavia, present-day 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 Bosnian War. 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 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.
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 that the young star would move to any of a host of clubs, with 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.
Labeled as the future replacement for the ageing 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 quarter-finals 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 Italian club Roma, for an €11 million transfer fee. He scored his first goal for Roma against Lecce. Pjanić 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.
Pjanić 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 García, 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.
Pjanić scored 6 goals and made numerous assists in the 2013–14 Serie A season. On 25 April 2014, he scored the first goal in Roma's 2–0 victory over 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.
On 11 May 2014, Pjanić signed a new contract which will last until 30 June 2018. In a friendly tournament in Denver in July, he scored from inside his own half, but Roma lost 3–2 to Manchester United. 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. Towards the end of the season, rumours spread in the media of Pjanić's possible departure from Roma, as he was linked with Juventus. He finished the season with ten league goals, and 12 in all competitions, while also finishing the league season as the top assist provider in Serie A for the second consecutive season, alongside Juventus's Paul Pogba, with 12 assists.
On 13 June 2016, Pjanić joined Juventus on a five-year contract for a fee of €32 million, ending a five-year stint with Roma. He chose the number 5 shirt to start the new season. On 10 September, Pjanić scored on his debut in a 3–1 home win over Sassuolo.
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 and Herzegovinian newspaper, Pjanić insisted that he only wanted to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Eventually, officials in the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina took notice and Pjanić was called up to the country's under-21 team. 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. 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. 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. He was named in Bosnia and Herzegovina's squad for 2014 FIFA World Cup, and debuted in the team's first match, a 2–1 defeat to Argentina at the Estádio do Maracanã. 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.
Style of play
Nicknamed il piccolo principe (the little prince) during his time with Roma, Pjanić has been described as an efficient "old-fashioned playmaker with huge technical qualities". A talented, creative and tenacious midfielder, Pjanić is usually deployed in a central role as a deep-lying playmaker, although his tactical versatility and work-rate enables him to play in several midfield positions, and he has also been deployed as an offensive midfielder. Pjanić's main attributes are his range of passing, dribbling skills, and vision, which make him an excellent assist provider. Known for his eye for goal and striking ability from distance, he is also a set-piece specialist, who is highly regarded for his accurate, bending free-kicks; in 2015, he was described as the best free-kick taker in the world by renowned set-piece specialist Juninho.
- As of match played 27 September 2016.
- Appearances in Coupe de la Ligue
- As of match played 6 September 2016.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
- Scores and results list Bosnia and Herzegovina's goal tally first.
|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|
|10.||25 March 2016||Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg||Luxembourg||
|11.||29 March 2016||Letzigrund, Zürich, Switzerland||Switzerland||
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