Miralem Pjanic, in an interview with Barça TV, spoke about El Clasico, and his time playing against Real Madrid as part of Olympique Lyonnais.
When asked about his first time possibly playing an El Clasico, the Bosnian replied that he “curious”, and that it will be no different from all the great rivalries he has already been a part of during his time with Lyon, AS Roma, or Juventus.
“The Clasico is special, but I have already played in Roma-Lazio, who are great rivals. Also the Juventus-Inter Milan derby in Italy.” Pjanic said, before adding, “I have played great derbies in great matches, I want to know what is is to play a Clasico, I am curious.”
Pjanic also addressed how while the game against Real Madrid is a huge, winning is the only thing on his mind, and his priority for the game.
“Having the opportunity to play El Clasico is what every player dreams of, it is the biggest game in football. I am happy to be here, to be able to play, and I hope we can win.”
Pjanic also remembered his time watching Barcelona vs Madrid, the classics of Pep Guardiola’s team against Jose Mourinho’s; games that brought fireworks.
“Until now, I saw them on television. I remember a great victory at home, 5-0 in 2011 with Guardiola and Mourinho. It was very nice to watch that Barça play, but the 2-6 at the Bernabeu was also special, because playing away is never easy.”
It was hard not to go back to the time when he faced Real Madrid as a teenager in the 2009/10 campaign with Lyon, when he scored in the process of eliminating them.
Miralem Pjanic challenging Cristiano Ronaldo, February 16, 2010 | Photo by PHILIPPE MERLE/AFP via Getty Images
“I was very young, 19 years old. We played against a great Madrid, great players, and we beat them, eliminated them, and scored.” He also added, “It was special for me, a great sensation, to score at the Bernabeu.”
Finally, when asked about what lies ahead for him and the team for the game on Saturday, Pjanic seemed rather positive, suggesting that they have ‘enough equipment’ to win the game.
“We have a good team, and we know how to play. We have been able to rest after the Champions League game, and have prepared ourselves. We are looking forward to playing the game, which is special and we have to win.”
Official: Barcelona squad list to take on Sevilla — Ronald Araujo returns
Barcelona fans have reasons to rejoice as Ronald Araujo returns to the squad list that will take on Sevilla at the Camp Nou as part of gameweek 25 of La Liga. The Uruguayan has been one of the biggest takeaways from this season, breaking through in the heart of the defence. Injuries have curtailed his potential, though, but he returns to the squad list for the first time in five games.
Unsurprisingly, Konrad de la Fuente has been dropped out, with Ilaix Moriba getting a call-up for this game. Elsewhere, Miralem Pjanic, who was substituted off at half-time, has been dropped, with reasons undisclosed. His exclusion pretty much guarantees a spot in the XI for Sergio Busquets.
Gerard Pique was subbed out early in all three games he has played after returning from injury, and makes the squad list for this crucial tie. He is expected to get the nod ahead of Oscar Mingueza, Clement Lenglet, and Samuel Umtiti as the centre-back alongside Araujo.
Full list: Ter Stegen, Neto, Pena; Dest, Mingueza, Pique, Araujo, Lenglet, Umtiti, Alba, Firpo; Busquets, Ilaix, de Jong, Pedri, Puig, Matheus; Braithwaite, Dembele, Messi, Trincao, Griezmann
Absentees: Coutinho (knee), Roberto (calf), Fati (knee), Pjanic
The relationship between Miralem Pjanic and Ronald Araujo has been visibly toxic and it seems it has finally come at the cost of the Bosnian’s place in the squad list. It seems imminent that Koeman trusts Ilaix, a 17-year-old Barcelona B player more than a seasoned veteran like Pjanic. We can just hope that the teenager’s dynamism comes in handy against an extremely well-drilled Sevilla.