Apart from being drawn into the same Champions League Group H and their relative proximity to the Italian-French border, it’s fair to say that Juventus and Olympique Lyonnais do not have an especially large amount in common.
This year, however, both clubs can lay claim to having had Miralem Pjanic on their books. The midfielder, who joined the Bianconeri in the summer, spent three seasons with Les Gones between 2008 and 2011 – a period of rapid development for a clearly talented teenager at the time, who’d just gained a first campaign in the professional game under his belt with Ligue 1 outfit Metz.
His switch south to Lyon in that summer of 2008 would undoubtedly broaden horizons for Pjanic, who now found himself at a side competing for league titles and looking to make their mark in Europe.
After a season of gaining his bearings, a 19-year-old Pjanic really began to make himself an indispensable member of Lyon’s starting XI.
Eleven goals and 13 assists combined in Ligue 1 and the Champions League during the 2009-10 campaign confirmed that the Bosnian’s elegant style crucially had a clinical, concrete end product. He also proved he was a man for the big occasion, netting against Real Madrid in the last-16 stage as Lyon ultimately reached the semi-finals.