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Miralem Pjanic says he’s not just here for free kicks

Midfielder speaks to media during international duty

AC ChievoVerona v Juventus FC - Serie A Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images

Juventus and Bosnia midfielder Miralem Pjanic spoke to the media about his role in Turin ahead of his nation’s World Cup qualifier away at Greece.

"I'm not here just for free kicks. I have found a new system, a different way of playing with less dribbling.

"I'm adapting, we know each other better now and the way we play is improving.

"Expectations are high, but I am not worried. Step by step we will grow, but meanwhile what counts is that Juve win."

Earlier in the week, Juve director Beppe Marotta had called for patience with Pjanic as he settled into his role in the middle.

“Pjanic has settled in with difficulty, but is an excellent professional and has all the characteristics to make his mark. In recent years he proved his quality, so we just need to patience to wait for him.

“People expect a modern player to be eclectic and the Coach must get the best out of his resources by adapting the tactical system. I think Pjanic can be considered a versatile figure.

“The history of Juventus has been dominated by many victories and a great deal of criticism, so we are accustomed to it.

“The team is excellent, we are top of the Serie A table with 27 points and doing well in the Champions League. Nobody is perfect, we must work every day to improve.”

Former Italian international Gianfranco Zola has also highly praised Pjanic’s free-kick taking ability, comparing him to another Juve legend Andrea Pirlo.

“I've looked at some of their free-kicks. The basic concepts, the movements: they're punitive and deadly. Pjanic and Pirlo are very similar, and it wouldn't surprise me if Miralem had studied Andrea.

“In the past I read that Pirlo was inspired by Juninho Pernambucano, who was also a reference point for Pjanic.

“The secret to a perfect free-kick? It takes training and attention. The closer I was to the goal the more effective I was, whereas [Sinisa] Mihajlovic was more precise the more pitch was between him and the goal.

“Pirlo and Pjanic know how to be precise both close-in and from range. Their technique is similar, they don't take many steps back from the ball.

“Miralem takes two steps, Pirlo is similar. There are players who hit the ball with their instep, giving it spin."