EXCLUSIVE: Ahead of Roma’s trip to the Allianz Arena, the gifted midfielder has revealed that he turned down the chance to join the reigning Bundesliga champions at the age of 18
By Jasmin Ligata
Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic has revealed that he was close to joining Bayern Munich in the summer of 2008, but he eventually opted to move to Olympique Lyonnais instead.
The Bosnia-Herzegovina star was one of Europe’s most sought-after youngsters at the time following an impressive 2007-08 campaign with Metz.
Bayern were one of the teams looking to lure him to the Bundesliga, but the midfielder felt he wasn’t ready for a move abroad.
“I went to Munich to discuss a transfer with Bayern when I was 18,” the creative midfielder told Goal.
“It’s not that anything went wrong, but I simply decided that Olympique Lyonnais would be a better option for me in the end.
“I don’t think I was ready for a club as big as Bayern at the time, so I decided to stay in France. I already knew the language and people knew me, so Lyon were the best option.
“And I don’t have any regrets over that decision. It was the right move at the time.”
Pjanic enjoyed two fine seasons with Lyon before then joining Roma in the summer of 2010, where he has since developed into an important first-team member.
The 24-year-old then went on to discuss Wednesday’s Champions League encounter with Bayern at the Allianz Arena and stressed that Roma are determined to make amends for their 7-1 home defeat two weeks ago.
“I would be happy with a draw in Munich. I am convinced that a result like the 7-1 defeat will never happen again,” he stated.
“We went through something similar to Brazil at the World Cup. This week’s game will be much closer, though.
“We are not really talking about revenge, but getting a point would leave us in a good position to qualify for the knockout stages. The game against Manchester City is the most important one for us.”
Roma currently sit second in Group E with four points from three games.