Turin, July 13 (IANS) Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic has chosen to wear jersey No.5 at Italian football champions Juventus to follow in the footsteps of his “idol” Zinedine Zidane, current French coach of Real Madrid.
Pjanic joined Juventus on June 14 on a five-year contract for a fee of 32 million euros ($35.9 million) after completing five years at capital club Roma.
“Last year I wore the number 15 shirt, but it’s already taken here,” Pjanic, 26, said in a press conference at Juventus stadium on Tuesday.
“I’ll, therefore, be wearing the number 5. My idol, Zinedine Zidane, wore it and I’ll be very proud to follow in his footsteps,” the Bosnian player explained.
Veteran defender Andrea Barzagli wears the No.15 jersey for the Serie A giants.
Asked what he aims to do at the new club, the Bosnian said: “I’m here to do my bit for the team and achieve big targets. A team like Juventus always wants to beat any opponent in any competition.
“Winning a sixth consecutive Scudetto would represent a wonderful feat and see history rewritten. I hope I’m able to contribute to us getting there,” the 26-year-old added.
“I’ve received plenty of welcome messages and everyone’s instantly made me feel at home. It’s a tight-knit group here and I’ll aim to help out my team-mates.
“We’ve got plenty of top individuals, but Juventus’ strength over the past few years has been the group’s team spirit.
The midfielder, who has been tipped as Juventus’ replacement of legendary Andrea Pirlo because of slick passing and precise free-kicks, shrugged off the comparisons.
“I think our games are a little different. Pirlo was the best midfielder in Serie A and displayed his exceptional qualities wherever he played. I hope I’m able to do just as well,” he said.
One of the best pitchers of free kicks in Europe, Pjanic revealed his earlier training base which helped him learn the art.
“I’ve worked alongside a specialist, just like Juninho did when he was at Lyon, but every player has a different technique,” Pjanic, who played for Lyon between 2008 and 2011, said.
“I’m perfecting mine and trying to be as dangerous as possible, because games are sometimes decided by set pieces.”