Barca midfielder Pjanic reveals he refused France’s appeal


The Bosnia-Herzegovina star admitted he missed the opportunity to represent Les Bleus after a call from Raymond Domenech

Bosnia and Herzegovina and Barcelona midfielder Miralem Pjanic has said he has refused to represent France internationally.The Blaugrana midfielder, who moved to Camp Nou from Juventus in the summer transfer window, was born in Tuzla, in what was then Yugoslavia, before his family moved to Luxembourg shortly after the outbreak of the war from Bosnia.

Pjanic represented Luxembourg’s national youth teams during his formative years and signed for Metz at 14, before joining Lyon.

And it was while playing in Ligue 1 that he was called up by then France head coach Raymond Domenech about the prospect of declaring himself available for Les Bleus.

“Yes, I could have played for the France team when I arrived in Lyon, but I said a few days before that my dream was Bosnia,” said Pjanic, 30. Canal Plus.

“Domenech called me, but I had already made up my mind. I thanked him of course, but I preferred to be realistic.

“For me, the France team was too much [to break into] at this moment. And it would have hurt my heart if, on the other side, Bosnia watched one of theirs play for the France team. ”

Pjanic is currently preparing for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s international friendly against Iran ahead of the Nations League matches against the Netherlands and Italy.

The former Juve star has racked up 96 caps for his country so far, scoring 15 goals, but has yet to make it to a major international tournament.

The experienced playmaker will be fresh for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s clash with Iran after being a substitute in Barcelona’s 5-2 win over Real Betis at Camp Nou on Saturday.

The cameo appearance marked his seventh outing for the Blaugrana at the start of the 2020-21 campaign, but he has yet to secure a regular place in Ronald Koeman’s starting XI.

Pjanic’s next chance to make an impact could come when Barca travel to Wanda Metropolitano to face Atletico Madrid on November 21.

Atletico are currently third in La Liga with two games underway against leaders Real Sociedad, having won five and drawn in two of their seven opening matches.

In stark contrast, Barca have slipped to eighth place after recording just three wins with two losses and two draws, and they can no longer afford to lose more ground when they meet Diego Simeone’s men later this this month.


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