Sagna Hopes To Revive International Career With Benevento

Sagna Hopes To Revive International Career With Benevento
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France right-back Bacary Sagna said Saturday he was hoping to revive his international career and play in the World Cup as he signed for Serie A underdogs Benevento.

The former Arsenal and Manchester City defender signed a six-month deal with the option for another year with Benevento who sit bottom of the Serie A table in their first ever top-flight campaign.

“When football has become a business more than an actual sport, Benevento represents the heart and soul of what a club should be about,” Sagna told Footballfancast.com.

“Passion, heart, hope, joy, love and a philosophy that is aligned to that of my own way of thinking in life.”

Sagna, who turns 35 this month, has been without a club since being released by Pep Guardiola’s City last summer.

“Bacary Sagna will be available to coach (Roberto) De Zerbi from next week,” the side from Naples said.

Sagna joined Arsenal from Auxerre in 2007 and established himself as one of the best right-backs in the Premier League.

He won the FA Cup in his final season with the Gunners in 2014, before moving to City where he won the League Cup in 2016.

He played 65 times for France between 2007 and 2016 and revealed he still hopes to make the team for the World Cup finals in Russia.

“My move may surprise many, but I am one hundred percent sure, that I am joining the right club, for the right reasons,” he explained.

“I still believe I can make the World Cup Finals this summer and play again for France,” explained Sagna.

“I have always been proud to play for my country and the burning ambition to continue to do that has never left me.

“I will give it my best shot to be in Russia.”

– ‘Beautiful story’ –

Promoted Benevento — with just seven points from 22 games — host leaders Napoli, who are on 57, on Sunday before travelling to Roma next week.

The club with a witch on its crest set a record for the worst start to a season in the top five European leagues losing their first 14 games, before snatching their first point against AC Milan when goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli scored a last-gasp equaliser.

Sagna revealed that he had “substantial offers” from clubs in the top leagues in England, France, Spain, Turkey, the MLS and elsewhere in Italy.

“Going to Benevento is not a move I am making for financial reasons,” he explained.

“Benevento offers me is the opportunity to represent the underdog and to play for a club whose story is such a beautiful one.

“I still believe I have two or three years of playing football at a very good level.

“I have always kept myself in very good shape and I live a healthy lifestyle, so the fitness side of the game will not be an issue to me.”

“For right now, I am coming to Benevento to fight for the club, to fight for the fans.”

AFP

Everton Defeat Was An Off Day – Wenger

WengerArsène Wenger admits Arsenal’s last season’s 3-0 defeat to Everton was a low point, but says it was no more than an “off day” during a dramatic season.

The Gunners hopes of securing a top-four place looked in serious danger after the defeat at Goodison Park, with the hosts moving above them in the table.

However, a late resurgence helped Wenger’s side secure a Champions League spot at the expense of Saturday’s opponents.

Wenger told Arsenal.com, “In the quality of our performance, and even more than that in our mental resistance, the mental steel on the day [the defeat to Everton] was one of our low points.

“At the start I played with Arteta and Flamini in the middle of the park. We did not have Ozil, we had Ramsey on the bench, just coming back from injury. We played with Podolski, Giroud, and we were a bit bullied. At the back we had Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal and Sagna. It was an off day, as well physically.

“[I was worried afterwards] because it was not in our hands anymore. It was in the hands of Everton. It was only their defeat against Crystal Palace at home that allowed us to get there.

“It was very tight last year. We finished with 79 points and I think it’s the first time since I arrived in England that you finish fourth with 79 points. You can look at the tables – that never existed before.

“Even if the Premier League was more interesting than ever last season, the top four teams took more points together than in any other year. For Everton, it’s the first time a team on 72 points didn’t get in the top four. It was very difficult.”

Wenger Rests Key Players Ahead Of Bayern Clash

Arsenal will be matching out against German club Bayern Munich tonight in Germany in a second leg tie of the Champions League last 16 clash as manger Arsene Wenger decided to rest some key players for the all-important clash.

Wenger has decided to feature players who have not been prominent for the gunners this season in clash that is standing as their last hope of a trophy as the english club will be going into the return leg to overturn a 3-1 routing at their home in Emirates.

Wenger has decided to rest the likes of Wojciech Szczesny, Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott so as to be fit for their   Premier League game against Swansea this weekend.

Talking injury worries, Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna and Lukas Podolski will not be seeing action in Germany while Nacho Monreal is ineligible for the Champions League after helping Málaga top their group earlier this season.

Wenger surprisingly could carry the day and run over the German champions tonight if he churns out a game plan that will usurp Bayern.