‘This team wants to take revenge for what happened in Lisbon’: New boy Miralem Pjanic claims Barcelona are out to show their Champions League humiliation against Bayern Munich was an ‘accident’ this season
- Barcelona’s 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich sparked a Nou Camp revolution
- The shocking collapse has seen new boss Ronald Koeman refresh the squad
- Miralem Pjanic is one of the new players to come in, and is driving a rebuild
The Bosnian completed a surprise £54m move to the Nou Camp this summer, ejected from Juventus‘ own revamp under Andrea Pirlo.
The 30-year-old moves in while Luis Suarez, Arthur, Nelson Semedo, Ivan Rakitic, Arda Turan, Arturo Vidal and manager Quique Seiten have all been cleared out following Barca’s 8-2 collapse against the Germans at the Champions League semi-finals in Portugal.
Miralem Pjanic is ready to help a Barcelona revamp after signing at the Nou Camp this summer
The Catalans’ embarrassing 8-2 collapse against Bayern Munich sparked an internal crisis
Lionel Messi asked to leave before a U-turn, as new boss Ronald Koeman has cut the squad
The defeat was one of the most humiliating in the club’s history, sparking protests against the club’s board and a transfer request from the great Lionel Messi – who eventually opted to stay and aim for a fightback in 2020-21.
‘This team wants to take revenge for what happened in Lisbon and show that it was a huge accident,’ Pjanic told Sport.
‘Our goal is to go step by step: starting with the league, which will not be easy. And in the Champions League, there will be five or six candidates to win the trophy.
‘Starting in March, a new season will begin within the season itself, with the knockout stages of the Champions League and the decisive stretch of the league championship; that’s where we have to be at full throttle.
Pjanic believes the club can quickly bounce back after a miserable season in 2019-20
The midfielder has a successful history in Italy before he was moved-on by Juve this summer
‘These players have already earned the respect of the football world and I don’t think they have to prove anything to anyone. But in football there are accidents, and I don’t think there is a Barca player who doesn’t want to show that 8-2 was just that, an accident.
‘I do not have any doubt. I have spoken with some of them and they have not lost an ounce of self-confidence. Last year was not easy for anyone, but I am sure that this year we will have a good season, because we have good players.
‘Nothing is easy in today’s game. We know that Barca is undergoing changes, perhaps the newcomers will need some time to adapt, but we will succeed.’
The 30-year-old has come in while the likes of Luis Suarez and Nelson Semedo have left
The Catalans get their season underway on Sunday with Villarreal visiting their iconic stadium, with new boss Ronald Koeman set to feel the pressure from day one.
Pjanic is the most expensive of four signings so far, with Trincao arriving from Braga, Matheus Fernandes from Palmerias and Pedri from Las Palmas for a total of £92m so far this summer.
The Bosnian star spent nine years in Italy with Roma and Juventus after emerging in Ligue 1 with Metz and Lyon, with the reliable midfield engine only failing to reach 30 league appearances twice in his career, in 2008-09 and 2012-13.