It's no secret that the reason for Roma's international tours is to grow the global brand, and what better way to do that than give fans access to their favorite players? Well, the club did just that, stealing our idea of soliciting fans for questions, only they had the distinct advantage of having direct access to Miralem Pjanic. Roma's number 15 sat down and answered a series of questions from the Indonesian delegation, touching on a host of topics and reminiscing on his first four seasons in Rome.
It's a great read, but here are a few highlights to chew on during your Saturday afternoon/evening.
Pjanic has been here long enough to understand what Roma is up against in their battle for supremacy and respect among their European counterparts, a point he spoke to straight off:
I would like to try and win a lot of titles - to bring the club as much success as possible every year. It's not easy as there are a lot of good teams in Serie A. It is most important every year to play in the Champions League. The priority is to win titles and to bring trophies to this club
Pretty cut and dry stuff there, but Pjanic is nothing if not sincere, so we have every reason to believe him. Speaking of the club's immediate ambitions, an end to Roma's trophy drought was front and center in Pjanic's mind
To try and win something. Last season was very difficult as Juventus played very well all season and won the championship. They also played in the final of the Champions League. Every year we will try and get closer to Juve. It's important to play every year in the Champions League and to try and win some trophies.
With an impressive string of offseason acquisitions (Dybala, Mandzukic and possibly Draxler), Juventus' summer mercato is emblematic of how a deep run in the Champions League can fatten one's coffers. While Roma is a long ways away from that lofty goal, grabbing any sort of hardware this season will provide the club with some desperately needed momentum. Second place is great and all, but we've been there far too many times; talk is cheap, its time to make some serious moves, and what better way to start than winning a trophy in 2015-2016?
Pjanic was then quizzed about his favorite moment with Roma:
I don't know, maybe our last game against Lazio. It was an incredible feeling to see how the fans very happy. It was an important game for both team but the better team won. The better team finished the season higher in the championship. We had a good season so that game was an incredible feeling
Pjanic may be suffering from some recency bias here, I mean, does he even remember this goal? or this goal? or this absurd effort against Manchester United? Forget about the goals, what about the time Pablo Osvaldo slapped Erik Lamela, or the time he whipped out his Pablito in front of the fans? God, sometimes I miss PDO.
We'll end with the headline grabber, who Pjanic sees as the rightful successor to Francesco Totti's #10 shirt
No, I think it's Francesco who has to decide who will take his number 10. I think that this number is very important for the fans and for the club and everyone here in Rome. I think the best thing to do is that Francesco decides what is done with this number, who takes it, because Francesco has done a lot for this club and a lot for Rome. It's not easy to take this number. There are a lot of responsibilities. The supporters will be happier if Francesco decides who will take this number. It's an important number
Well said. While retiring jersey numbers is more of an American custom, seeing anyone else with that number on their back might just be too much to bear, but Pjanic is right. If anyone has earned the right to decide what happens to the holy number ten, it's Totti.
Putting his humility aside, you can make a pretty strong case that, if anyone does indeed wear this number again, it should be Pjanic, but what do you think? Is anyone worthy of wearing Roma's #10 shirt again?