Miralem Pjanic definitely showed his right foot off this weekend. And what a demonstration it was.
Pjanic completed a rare dual feat: kicking a soccer goal in a friendly game and a field goal during football practice in the span of two days. On Saturday, Pjanic and his Roma team were at the Denver Broncos training facility in Englewood, Colorado for the Broncos’ training camp. Pjanic’s Roma teammates and Broncos placekicker Matt Prater began trading field goals, according to Deadspin. It wasn’t interesting until the kickers got to the 50-yard range, where Pjanic was deftly kicking footballs through the uprights. Pjanic, Prater, and the other kickers kicked field goals until time was up.
On Sunday, Pjanic and his Roma Teammates were playing Manchester United at Sports Authority Field in Denver. Going into the 76th minute, the Roma team trailed Manchester United 3-1. Pjanic took a pass 10 yards behind the half line and sent a 65-yard shot just over the outreached hands of Manchester United goale Ben Amos. Neither team would score again, the game ending 3-2. New Manchester United coach Louis Van Gaal, who took the Netherlands to the 2014 World Cup semifinals, will have to work with Amos, for a goal like this could harm one’s psyche. A long-range goal like this is considered a most embarrassing goal, per the Sidney Morning Herald.
The Bosnian-born Pjanic saw Amos off his line and looped an extremely long shot over and out of the reach of the embarrassed substitute goalie. When asked whether he regarded the goal as a wonder strike by Pjanic or an error on the part of his substitute, Van Gaal said with a smile, “What do you think? I am nearly 63. When the ball is flying in the air for four seconds, I think I run 50 metres.”
Roma coach Rudi Garcia was stunned by the 60-yard effort. “It was a world-class goal,” he said. “I am sure we will see it throughout [the] world. He probably had a training session yesterday with the Denver Broncos.”
According to the Irish Examiner, though the score was close, the game never was. Manchester United controlled the pace of the game after a rather lackluster first half. Save for the errant long goal, Roma never mounted much of a challenge. Manchester United showed the resilience and cunning that they did in their first friendly match against the Los Angeles Galaxy, having won that match, as well.