Miralem Pjanic has hit out at Maurizio Sarri, saying the former Juventus coach didn’t trust his players and questioned their professionalism.
Sarri lasted only one season in Turin and, while he won Juve a ninth consecutive Serie A title, he was sacked after being knocked out of the Champions League by Lyon.
Pjanic eventually followed him out of the club, and could make his Clasico debut for new club Barcelona on Saturday – but his experience with Sarri still rankles.
“What I still regret now is that Sarri did not trust the players, which concerned me,” Pjanic told Tuttosport.
“It is a shame when you evaluate people wrong; every player in that dressing room always gave and will always give their best for the club and for the team.
“You might not get along with one or two players, but this would never affect their commitment because every player wants to win. They are incredible professionals who want to pursue their goal.
“Well, if the coach questions this, then that spark which the president talks about doesn’t happen. Nobody doubts Sarri’s qualities as a coach, but there was that problem.
“In the end, though, we took home another Scudetto which is never something to be taken for granted.”
In moving from Juve to Barca, Pjanic became one of a select few footballers to have played alongside both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
“Incredible,” he said of the pair. “In the truest sense of the word, because in a few years, when they have retired, we will realise what goals they have reached, what level their football has been at, what kind of unattainable champions they are.”
Over the summer, Juventus were also interested in a move for Pjanic’s international team-mate, Edin Dzeko, but the deal eventually fell through as they moved for Alvaro Morata instead.
“It would have been a pleasure to see a Bosnian at Juve after me,” Pjanic said.
“I know they were very close, I was in contact with him. I explained to him what Juventus was like, where the club was going. I don’t know exactly what happened, it is not my concern.”