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Sagnol sanguine about Bayern future

Published: Tuesday 17 January 2006, 15.40CET
Having resisted a move to Italy by signing a new four-year contract with FC Bayern München, Willy Sagnol is relishing the challenges which lie ahead.
by Andreas Alf
from Frankfurt

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Published: Tuesday 17 January 2006, 15.40CET

Sagnol sanguine about Bayern future

Having resisted a move to Italy by signing a new four-year contract with FC Bayern München, Willy Sagnol is relishing the challenges which lie ahead.
Speculation may have gone hand in hand with soul-searching while Willy Sagnol was contemplating his future at FC Bayern München, but having put an end to both by signing a new four-year contract, the French raider is relishing the challenges ahead.

Decision questioned
Long linked with a move to Serie A - and Juventus in particular - after refusing to extend his deal in Bavaria last year, Sagnol's decision to resist a spell in Italian football has prompted much debate. "Back home in France, people cannot understand why I prefer to stay in Munich instead of going to a club in Milan or Turin," said the 28-year-old. "But this is my second home, and my relationship with club officials and with our fans were equally important in my decision to stay."

Bayern thanked
He continued: "It was a tough decision, one which required a lot of thought. I couldn't afford to make a mistake at this stage of my career, as this is probably going to be my last major contract, so it meant a lot to me that Bayern were so understanding and gave me all the time in the world to think about my future. I have been at Bayern for almost six years - after such a long time it's not easy to begin a new career in a different league."

Early success
Signed for €6.3m from AS Monaco FC in 2000, Sagnol has matured into one of the game's leading right-backs, becoming a mainstay for France. He enjoyed significant early success at his new club as Bayern lifted the UEFA Champions League in 2001, adding three Bundesliga crowns and two German Cup triumphs. There is a promise of more silverware this term, although AC Milan represent formidable opposition in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Even affair
There will be no quarter given in what promises to be an even contest between the only two teams to have beaten Juventus this season. However, with his future secure and confidence high, Sagnol is looking beyond the two-legged tie to a future "which promises a lot" for a Bayern side intent on lifting club football's greatest prize for a fifth time.

Last updated: 17/01/06 19.46CET

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