Sagna harbours World Cup hope after surprise Benevento move

His surroundings at Benevento may be more modest than he is used to, but Bacary Sagna hopes the move gets him back into France reckoning.

Bacary Sagna still harbours hope of an unlikely call-up for France's World Cup squad after choosing "the heart and soul" of football over money by joining Serie A strugglers Benevento.

Sagna had been without a club since leaving Manchester City at the end of last season, as Pep Guardiola's defensive clear-out saw the Frenchman not offered a new contract.

With a wealth of experience to offer, Sagna had been linked with a host of clubs across the globe following his release by City.

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But the France international opted for Benevento, despite their ominous position at the bottom of the Serie A table, having picked up just seven points from 22 matches.

Sagna acknowledges his decision may surprise some, but he believes choosing Benevento allows him to get back in touch with football's soul, while also potentially helping him reach his goal of playing at the World Cup with France, even though he has not played for his country since October 2016.

"In the past few months, I have had several offers from clubs in the top leagues in England, France, Spain, Turkey, the MLS and elsewhere in Italy," Sagna told FootballFanCast.

"However, they were not the right moves for myself or my family. Going to Benevento is not a move I am making for financial reasons. I could have gone to many other clubs, many of whom made substantial offers to me.

"My career for the past decade has been at the very top level. What Benevento offers me is the opportunity to represent the underdog and to play for a club whose story is such a beautiful one.

"In an era when football has become more of a business at many clubs than an actual sport, Benevento represents the heart and soul of what a football club should be about; passion, heart, hope, joy, love and a philosophy that is aligned to that of my own way of thinking in life.

"I still believe I can make the World Cup finals this summer and play again for France. 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.

"My move may surprise many, but I am 100 per cent sure that I am joining the right club, for the right reasons."