Miralem Pjanic completed his move to Barcelona on Tuesday, signing his contract at the Camp Nou and being officially presented as a Cule.
The 30-year-old went on to speak at a press conference and explained why he had decided to leave Juventus after four successful years and move to the Camp Nou.
“Leaving Juve is complicated. I have left an incredible club, but a footballer has the incentive to grow and have new challenges. After nine years in Italy I needed new goals and Barça was my dream.”
The 30-year-old midfielder has arrived after winning a fourth Serie A title with the Turin giants, penning a contract with the club that runs until the summer of 2024. He will wear the No. 8 shirt at the Camp Nou, taking over from Arthur Melo.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 15, 2020
Pjanic signed his contract, did the traditional kick-ups on the Camp Nou pitch, and then took questions at a press conference on a busy day for the midfielder. Afterwards he took time out to send a message to supporters to express how he’s feeling now he’s a Barcelona player.
I must say I have quite a lot of good days to remember, but this is going to be one of the best ❤️💙
Te acercas al mito de puntillas, respetando a los que lo crearon y deseando hacerlo crecer 🔥
Ja estic a casa 📍🏟️#ForçaBarça #mesqueunclub #PjanicCuler #Pjanist 🎹 pic.twitter.com/Wu2DZXf5eN
— Miralem Pjanic (@Miralem_Pjanic) September 15, 2020
The new No. 8 has been training individually at the Camp Nou since his arrival, due to La Liga protocols, after testing positive for Covid-19. He confirmed at his unveiling that he would train with the group on Wednesday and was hoping to make his first appearance as a Barcelona player in Saturday’s friendly match against Elche.
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Pjanic Keen to Play with Lionel Messi
Pjanic is an experienced midfielder who heads to Barcelona after spells with French clubs Metz and Lyon and Serie A sides Roma and Juventus. The 30-year-old has played alongside stars such as Francesco Totti and Cristiano Ronaldo during his career and is now looking forward to being a team-mate of Lionel Messi.
“It’s been important for me to play alongside big players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Totti, who have been the best, an example. Now I have the chance to play alongside basically an extraterrestrial.”
The new signing also spoke about the recent uncertainty over Messi’s future and how he could not envisage the Argentina international playing for any club other than Barcelona.
“From the outside, of course I followed and read everything, but I never saw Leo outside because he grew here, he’s done so much at this club and I think he will end his career here because he’s a huge champion, a winner and he has his home here.
“Honestly, I only imagined him here, with another shirt it would have been strange. He seems happy. He’s perhaps the best player of all time and it’s huge to have him with us.”
Pjanic is expected to be a regular next season under manager Ronald Koeman and is being tipped to play alongside Frenkie de Jong in midfield as part of a double pivot system.