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In a remarkable outburst following his temporary exit from Barcelona, midfielder Miralem Pjanic has accused a "very strange" Ronald Koeman of "killing his confidence" and disrespecting him during his short time at the Camp Nou.
The 31-year-old Bosnia international, who signed for the Catalan giants last summer in a reported £59 million deal from Juventus, has joined Super Lig side Besiktas on a season-long loan after struggling for a first-team place throughout the 2020/21 campaign.
Pjanic made just 13 starts for Barca as manager Koeman prefered the likes of Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri in midfield. In fact, he was left out of their squad for the opening two La Liga games against Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao.
After a summer of trying to cut down the wage bill, Barca managed to offload Pjanic but now, after arriving at the Istanbul-based side, the midfielder has delivered a sensational tell-all interview about his 14-month spell at the Spanish club.
It's fair to say he hasn't held back.
"My situation was complicated from the beginning," Pjanic explained in an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca. "I got there after two weeks away, started to train little by little, alone, to prepare myself to start with my teammates.
"Three, four, seven, 10 days went by and the coach never came to talk about the season, about me, to speak about anything. It was strange, but fine.
"Time passed, I was feeling good and playing, but of course I wanted more. Then there's a point when I was playing less and things were complicated.
"It was tough physically and mentally and it killed my confidence because I had no communication with him. It was very strange.
"The coach is the one who says who plays and who doesn't, but there are ways of doing things. I'm a player who can take anything, but I'd like to be told to my face and not as if I'm a 15-year-old.
"I fought until the end, I was always professional with the lads, always working hard, for them too. I knew that if the coach stayed I'd have to find a solution."
Pjanic continued to rip into Koeman, adding: "He never told me or asked if I wanted to play as a two or in front of the defence. I reached a Champions League final playing as a double pivot with [Sami] Khedira.
"I've played everywhere, but he never saw me in any of them. I didn't have a position, I got five or 10 minutes, or would warm up for 45 minutes but not play.
"I've never had a situation like it and it wasn't easy. You have to be tough, because sometimes I could have reacted badly to him, but I was always respectful with him and my teammates.
"He had a cross against me from the beginning. It was hard to accept. I waited until the end for things to change. I played all of the Champions League games and we won 2-0 in Turin.
"Then LaLiga Santander comes along and I'm out. I was going to ask him if I was doing something wrong. Maybe he wanted something different than [Massimiliano] Allegri, [Maurizio] Sarri, Luis Enrique or [Luciano] Spalletti. They all have different things, but they communicate.
"It's good for the team. 'No, no, it's only rotation, I have no problem, your attitude is good...'. Okay, fine, but then I was out for longer. I didn't understand. He's a very, very strange coach. It's the first time I've seen someone like this."
Pjanic continued: "From February until May I hardly played. I was very disappointed. I could have said 'I've a three-year contract so I don't care', but I'm not like that.
"It was a very difficult situation to accept, but I wasn't going to fight. There was a person who was never going to change. He's the coach.
"There was a lack of respect for the club, for those who didn't play after training well. The coach was never there to see the attitude of the players who didn't play. It's the first time I've seen that.
"How can a player be motivated to show he's there when the coach isn't there to see the attitude or how he trains? It was one of the worst things I've seen, a huge lack of respect and it wasn't easy for those of us not playing."
Blimey. Thoughts on Pjanic's sensational interview?
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