Former French international full back Bacary Sagna has signed for Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact in a deal that takes him to the end of the 2018 season, with an option of a further year in 2019.
The ex-Premier League full-back, who played over 350 matches for Arsenal and Manchester City, is setting off on a new adventure to the French-speaking city in a move that represents a major coup for Montreal. Sagna, who was being chased by a plethora of clubs both in the MLS and around Europe, finally opted for the Quebec=based side.
In an exclusive interview given to FootballFanCast.com, Sagna explained his thinking behind the move.
“I am at a stage of my career where it is all about new experiences and challenges for me,” said Sagna. “I have played at the top level in European football, across three great leagues and also on the global stage for my country. Now is the right time for me to make the move to the MLS. I have always kept an eye on the league and have watched a lot of the matches, both in person and on TV.
“It is a league that has grown massively in stature, with some of the biggest names in world football competing against each other every week. The past few years has seen the global TV audience grow season upon season – each year there are new clubs springing up, new world class stadiums being opened and bigger fan bases. You can feel the buzz around the MLS from lots of my fellow pros. I understand the idea is to increase the number of teams in the league and ultimately that can only be a good thing for grass roots soccer in the USA and Canada.
“Yes, there were some great offers elsewhere from some very good clubs in the MLS and Europe and I was flattered to receive many of them but going to Montreal feels right for many reasons. The Impact head coach, Remi Garde, is someone I have a lot of respect for. I spoke at length with him and he made me feel wanted. He explained the project at hand, the way his side sets up and why he would like me in his team.
“I also talked with a few others about Montreal as a club and only heard great things about the fans, the Club President Joey Saputo, as well as some of the other key people and staff involved there. On top of this, Montreal is one the great cultural cities within the Americas, with its diversity and great lifestyle. It is also a city with huge sporting traditions and I cannot wait to make my own mark here. I hope the knowledge and experience I have gained throughout my career is going to help the club be successful.
“This is going to be a great journey for me and my family. I sincerely hope that I can bring a smile or two to the faces of all the Impact fans. I can’t wait to get started and embrace all that the club and the city has to offer. Exciting times lie ahead for sure.”