I have a bromance with Miralem Pjanic. I’ve always admired his play from afar, but in his first season with Juventus, I haven’t been able to look away. Pjanic was great at Roma, too. He played with a high football IQ and an intimidating game face ideal for Serie A. As Daniele De Rossi’s partner in the middle, he quietly stood out with unsung quality on the ball, incredible vision and decisiveness at the point of attack. He’s brought all of that to Turin, dictating play for a loaded team on the verge of European glory. I don’t have stats or heat maps. But I wanted to shine the light on an un-flashy player that’s consistently world class.
In the first-leg Champions League semi-final against Monaco on May 3rd, Dani Alves and Gonzalo Higuain dominated the post-game headlines (deservedly so), but it was Miralem Pjanic that impressed me the most. Juventus want their wing-backs to push high and attack, and Pjanic’s the one that decides when they go. A central midfielder that can dictate the pace of the game is tactically crucial in that set up. His movement and distribution were impeccable.Embed from Getty Images
Pjanic strutted around the midfield like “the man” on a team of elite veterans. He was casual under pressure, pinging the ball with ease around the younger, faster Monaco midfielders. His spontaneous services into the box from midfield left Subasic glued to his line and Monaco’s defenders scrambling. It was a midfield masterclass from the Bosnia and Herzegovina man.
Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are considered by many as the best players in the world in that role, but Miralem Pjanic isn’t far behind. He’s a player that I thought deserved to be playing at a big club and competing for every major European trophy. Well, he is now.
But I want to know what you think. Will my Pjanic bromance be short-lived? And who’s the better all-around midfielder: Modric or Pjanic? Is it Kroos?