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‘It was very strange’ – Pjanic opens up on troubled Koeman relationship

Miralem Pjanic, Ronald Koeman
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After failing to win favor under Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman, Miralem Pjanic has joined Besiktas on loan.

Miralem Pjanic has accused Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman of disrespecting him following his departure from Camp Nou.

Just one year after arriving from Juventus, Pjanic has left Barcelona for Besiktas. The 31-year-old will spend the 2021/22 campaign on loan at the Turkish club but still remains under contract in Catalonia until June 2024.

Pjanic’s short stint has seen him make just 13 starts in 30 appearances for Barcelona so far. Koeman included him in the line-up just six times in La Liga last season. From February 25 onwards, the Dutch coach has only given the midfielder 20 minutes of action in the Spanish league.

Asked if he felt disrespected at Barcelona, Pjanic told Marca: “The coach, yes.

“I couldn’t get used to the situation I faced last year. I knew I didn’t want it. I’m a player. I love playing football. This is what makes me happy. I always wanted to play for Barca, but I didn’t expect the situation to get so complicated.

“There was a point that I was playing less, things were getting complicated. And when I played it was difficult physically and mentally to be well, because it was killing my confidence, because I had no communication with [Koeman].

“It was very strange because a coach is the one who says who plays and who doesn’t, but there are different ways to do things. I am a player who can accept everything but I would always like to be told things face to face. Not as if nothing happened, and I was 15 years old.”