Before starting a career in football, Miralem Pjanic used to dream to become like Zinedine Zidane during his years at Real Madrid.
Juventus' eclectic midfielder idolised the Frenchman and studied his moves and style just like a scholar does with their teacher - and now he can't believe to have disputed a Champions League final against him.
In an emotional interview with Corriere dello Sport, the 27-year-old Bosnian has recalled the days of his childhood when football was just a passion: "When I was young my idol was Zidane, I especially loved him when he was at Real Madrid.
"I will never forget the final in Cardiff, his moves, the World Cup tournaments where he played. As a child, the idea of reaching as high standards as his was just a fantasy. This is why playing for a team like Juventus today means so much - I can finally see that dream become true.
"I really hope to keep on evolving and improving and that I can contribute more and more to this club and team."
Juventus landed Pjanic, in 2016 after a few years of courtship during which he had become one of Roma's strongest players.
Despite spending five years with the Giallorossi, the Bosnian revealed that his choice to leave was partially justified by his ambitions: "I wanted to win, to achieve something important. I've been at Juventus only one year and I have already lifted the Serie A cup and disputed a Champions League final.
"A player's career is short and one can never stop. I wanted new challenges and the Bianconeri were the perfect team for me."
Despite the club's heroics last year, Juventus have experienced a tougher beginning to the year as they stand third in the league table, incapable of keeping up with Napoli and Inter's pace.
"The truth is that we have great players and no one can doubt that," Pjanic commented. "There are clearly several things that need to be improved. Our main goal is to win the seventh consecutive Serie A title and then to qualify for the Champions League."
The Old Lady face their biggest title contender on Friday night as they travel to San Paolo in a bid to narrow the gap with Napoli. The Bosnian said of the Azzurri: "Seeing them play is enjoyable, but, in the end, the others win and not them - well, at least I hope it will be like this."