‘Messi explains things to me’ – Pjanic on Barcelona future
Pjanic has been linked with a Camp Nou exit but does not want to give up on his Barcelona dream after just one season.
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After signing from Juventus in the deal which involved Arthur Melo going in the other direction, the midfielder has only started six La Liga matches.
He has struggled to force his way into Ronald Koeman’s plans and links with Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum are unlikely to help his chances.
But Pjanic is eager to stay and hopes that will be alongside Messi, who himself faces an uncertain futre.
Messi, who has been linked with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, has been a constant help to Pjanic since he signed for Barca.
Asked about what their relationship was like at Barcelona, Pjanic told Mundo Deportivo: “Spectacular.
“Leo talks to me a lot, he explains things about the environment that at first escaped me.
“He has been aware of me from the first moment, encouraging me, helping me.
“Spectacular. As a footballer, we will never see another like him.
“I don’t know what he will do but I would like to be by his side for many years.”
Pjanic has previously hit out at his lack of game time at Barcelona and just wants Koeman to give him two or three games in a row.
He added: “Continuity, two or three games to be able to show my football – that is what any footballer needs.
“But I’m going to keep working every training session to earn that opportunity.
“The coach is betting a lot on the young people of La Masía, that is great for the club because it means maintaining a style and betting on footballers that you have trained.
“But I can contribute my experience in important matches.”
‘Of course I want to stay at Barcelona’
Despite his difficulties, Pjanic is clear that he wants to stay at Barcelona.
“Yes, of course,” he said. “I did not sign for Barca to leave the following year.
“I signed to make history at a club that had been on my path for many years.
“When I was 16 years old, my father was meeting with Barca leaders, who wanted to sign me for Barca B.
“I was at Metz then and we didn’t know how to appreciate that Barca B is so important in this club.
“I decided to start my career in France but I always followed what Barca did.
“Two years ago, [former sporting director] Eric Abidal wanted to sign me, we were talking but the club invested in Antoine Griezmann and there was no money left for me.
“I had to wait two years to live the dream of being a Barca player.
“Look, I’ve come to Barca to win the Champions League, that’s my goal. This year I want to help win the double, that’s my mentality.
“I never give up. If I don’t play, the next morning I am training harder than ever so that the coaches will notice that I am not giving up.
“I have not stopped training a single day, although I arrived later because of the Covid-19. When I started with the symptoms, I couldn’t believe it… Koeman told me in pre-season to be calm, to get in shape, not to be in a hurry.
“Then it was difficult for me to enter.
“Koeman doesn’t talk much to players so what I have to do is keep working to be ready when he needs me.”