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Pjanic: ‘I’d be happy to return to Italy’

Former Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic says he would like to return to Italy some day: “It’s my second home.” The 31-year-old is currently playing for Besiktas, on-loan from Barcelona, but Italy is still in his thoughts. Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Bosnian international shared his thoughts on the title race, Paulo Dybala and Max Allegri.

“Istanbul is so nice, except for the traffic, but I haven’t lost sight of Italy, it’s my second home. I miss it and honestly, I’d be happy to return. Italy’s World Cup elimination hit me as I were Italian.

Barcelona? I could not continue with him [Koeman]. He was disrespectful. Laporta took a great decision by hiring Xavi. Now the group is strong and united and everyone knows what to do.

There were a few contacts [with Juventus], but in the end nothing happened because of economic reasons. To me, it wasn’t about the money. I’d like to be important in a project and win the Scudetto. I have hunger, experience, almost 700 games. I can aim at big targets.

Sarri? He is crazy for football, a top coach. That was another mistake. I was obsessed with the number of touches per game, 150, and I lost sight of my football.

I respect Allegri as a coach and even more as a man. It’s crazy to criticise him. I think he is the right person for Juventus and the results say he’s doing a good job. Nobody says that he is the best coach under pressure.

I remember 2018, we won 3-2 against Inter, but we were on the brink. He spoke well, he was very calm, and we turned that calm into strength.

Juventus v Inter? It’s 50-50, I think Paulo Dybala could decide it. I think he’ll start the game. Paulo has the mentality of a champion, he’ll be ready.

I immediately wrote to him when I heard the news [that he’d leave Juventus]. He is a friend and I’ve always liked to play with him. I wrote to him that he is a champion and he said: ‘Thanks brother, I love you.’

I think I know how he feels. He’s always played even when he wasn’t 100% fit, he’s never decided not to play to protect himself. However, I also understand the club. They’ve been very clear. I think they chose a different project with players who are more suited to a certain idea.

“The next Juve #10? For one year, I think nobody. The no.10 must be fully deserved.”

 

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Serie A obsessive, lover of 90's Italian defenders, bourbon and wide open highways.