Pjanic: I rejected offers to stay with Garcia

The midfielder says he chose to extend his spell in the Italian capital in order to win the Scudetto under a coach he feels shares his idea of good football


Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic claims he rejected offers from other clubs in order to continue to work with coach Rudi Garcia.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international has established himself as one of Europe’s brightest attacking midfielders with the Giallorossi and was reportedly a prime transfer target for Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

Pjanic, however, signed a new and improved contract at the Stadio Olimpico earlier this summer and has now claimed his eagerness to achieve success under Garcia prompted him to spurn advances from potential suitors.

“I’ve received many offers but I decided to stay with Roma because I want to win the Scudetto,” the 24-year-old told Sport.ba.

“And because of Rudi Garcia, with whom I have an excellent relationship and who shares my ideas on football.”

Pjanic joined Roma from Olympique Lyonnais in the summer of 2011.

Miralem Pjanic picks his best world XI – featuring Messi and Suarez

The Bosnian – one of Serie A’s finest midfielders – selected six Liga stars, three Bundesliga players and one apiece from the Premier League and Ligue 1 in his all-star line-up


Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic has revealed his perfect world XI, featuring a formidable frontline of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Pjanic, who placed 20th in 2014′s Goal 50, was one of the stars of Serie A in 2013-14 and was linked with a host of top clubs earlier this year – including La Liga giants Barcelona – before putting pen to paper on a new deal in May.

The 24-year-old chose four Camp Nou players in his all-star selection, alongside three Bayern Munich men, two European champions with Real Madrid, one Manchester City man and a single Paris Saint-Germain star.

“Manuel Neuer is the best goalkeeper around,” Pjanic, who has his sights set on taking the Scudetto away from Juventus in 2014-15, told Goal.
 
“At right-back I would have Philipp Lahm and at left-back David Alaba. My central defenders would be Thiago Silva and Sergio Ramos.
 
“My favourite midfielders are Andres Iniesta, Yaya Toure and Xavi.
 
“Up front I would have to go for Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez.”

Pjanic: Leaving Roma was never an option

The Bosnia-Herzegovina star has made it clear that he never considered a transfer and dreams of winning the Scudetto this season


Miralem Pjanic has stressed that he never thought about leaving Roma irrespective of interest from Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

The 24-year-old was one of Roma’s undisputed stars as they finished second in Serie A last term, catching the attention of the Ligue 1 champions and the Spanish giants in the process.

Neverthelss, Pjanic eventually opted to sign a new deal with Roma until June 2018 instead and he has now made it clear that a summer transfer was never an option for him.

“I signed a new deal because I believe in Roma’s project, in this team and in this coach,” the creative midfielder to Corriere dello Sport.

“It was an easy decision. Maybe I could have made more money elsewhere. But I want to play somewhere where I’m happy. I love the people at Roma, I love the club and I love the city. This is the perfect place to develop.

“I never thought about leaving. Negotiations over a new deal took a while because they took place during the season. There were a lot of rumours, but the people at Roma always knew what I wanted and that I wanted to sign a new deal before the World Cup.”

Pjanic then went on to insist that Roma have set their sights on the Serie A title this term after last year’s second place.

“We want to win this Scudetto. Is this the strongest Roma I’ve seen? I think so. We have had players arrive who have made us grow. 

“And we have young players who understand football and also have so much talent. But above all, this year the group has changed with respect to the past. 

“But we are not favourites. There is always Juventus, who deserved to win the league last year, and then Napoli.  We are there next and in contention. The pitch will provide us with the answers.”

Pjanic proud to make Goal 50 and believes Roma can overtake Juventus

The ex-Lyon star was delighted to be named in our annual list of the 50 greatest players from the past season and is confident he can achieve Scudetto success in 2014-15


EXCLUSIVE
By Jasmin Ligata

Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic has expressed his pride at being named in the 2014 Goal 50 and has sent out a Scudetto warning to Juventus ahead of the new season.

The 24-year-old finished 20th in Goal’s annual list of the 50 greatest players of the past season following a wonderful campaign where he led his club side to second place in Serie A with a record club points tally.

The classy playmaker, who registered six goals and six assists for the Giallorossi, also helped Bosnia and Herzegovina qualify for their first ever World Cup finals in Brazil, scoring in the win over Iran.

“Last season I proved my quality and I am very happy and proud that Goal put me side by side with the world’s biggest football stars,” Pjanic told Goal.

“This only inspires me to work harder. I know the competition was tough and I am happy even to be on the list.

“Every award gives me strength and motivation to do better. But all the time I work hard because the worst for each player is when he thinks he has reached the top. I always want to be better.

“Last season only partially filled my expectations, considering I aimed to win the Scudetto.

“We started the season great but then we lost rhythm and Juventus took advantage of that. I am sorry we didn’t succeed but we made a step forward and became candidates to win trophies. I believe we will fight for the championship again this season.

“As for Bosnia, my dream of playing at the World Cup came true and it was a really great experience. We didn’t progress but we have shown that we have a great future ahead of us. We have a very young, improving team.”

Pjanic, who hit the headlines earlier this week following an incredible goal from the halfway line in a friendly against Manchester United, is looking forward to the new club season.

Following a string of summer signings, including Verona wonderkid Juan Iturbe and experienced campaigners such as Ashley Cole and Seydou Keita, Pjanic is confident that Roma can go one better in 2014-15 and win a first Scudetto since 2001.

“We can overtake Juventus. We are stronger with several great players and I believe we can achieve many good things in Italy,” he insisted.

“We have Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman and new signings who have won trophies and know what is needed to win.

“Maybe we lacked experience last season, but now we have it. We also have more depth and that is so important considering we have many games ahead of us.

“We have a strong team and we can go far in Europe too. I’ve played in the Champions League with Lyon and I know it is a special tournament.”

Pjanic recently became a father and he concluded by explaining how this has helped him grow as a person and a footballer.

“It helps a man become mature,” he revealed.

“Every moment I can I spend with family and with my son Edin who is one of my biggest victories in life. Family is there forever, only parents are truly your friends.”

Click HERE to see the full list for the 2014 Goal 50

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Van Gaal bemoans Man Utd display despite Roma win

The Dutchman conceded his side had been affected by the heat and altitude of Denver but was disappointed at their inability to keep the ball in the second half

Louis van Gaal insisted he was far from pleased with Manchester United’s performance despite their 3-2 win over Roma in Denver on Saturday.

A double from Wayne Rooney and a Juan Mata strike put United in a commanding position before Roma hit back with two unanswered goals of their own in the second half at Sports Authority Field.

It was United’s second consecutive win in their pre-season tour of the United States and the Premier League side’s first in the International Champions Cup.

But Van Gaal was still critical of United’s display, though he did concede the heat played a big factor as his team faltered after the break, despite regular drinks breaks.

“I am pleased that we have won but it was not a good performance,” said the Dutchman, who lamented the kick-off time during his pre-game conference.

“54,000 people came to watch us but we can perform much better.

“We are not used to this hot weather. I think we didn’t play a good match because of the height of the stadium, the air, because all my good passers failed today.

“I said when the World Cup was here in ’94 it wasn’t wise to play here at noon. America has a top sports climate but you have to play football at the right time.

“When you are 3-0 ahead, the only thing you have to do is keep the ball in possession and then the opponent has to run and run and run. It’s very difficult in this hot weather to do that.

“But we forgot to do that [keep possession] and we brought Roma into the game ourselves.”

While he was disappointed with the state of play, the Dutchman was impressed by the standard of goals on show, from both teams.

Rooney got the ball rolling with a curling effort from outside the penalty area, while Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic delighted the crowd after catching goalkeeper Ben Amos off his line and scoring from inside his own half – similar to David Beckham’s stunning strike against Wimbledon in 1996.

“Some of our passes failed, the ball was bobbling all the time and we didn’t create so much, but we scored three fantastic goals,” he added.

“The pass from Rooney to Mata was unbelievable, despite the heat and the height. Mata was running with his brain at the right moment.

“They also scored one fantastic goal, so then it was 3-1.”