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Sagnol playing for Bayern in 2006
|Full name||Willy Sagnol|
|Date of birth||18 March 1977|
|Place of birth||Saint-Étienne, France|
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Right back|
|2003–2008||Bayern Munich II||3||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Willy Sagnol (born 18 March 1977) is a former French international footballer who played as a defender. He spent much of his professional career playing for Bayern Munich in Germany's Bundesliga. He was also part of the French squad at the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship, 2002 World Cup, Euro 2004, 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008.
Willy first made his way in the world of football at his father's former club in Haute-Loire, Montfaucon-en-Velay where he developed his defensive game at right-back, as well as performing exceptionally on the right-hand side of midfield.
From there he progressed, eventually joining the region's flagship club AS Saint-Étienne. An impressive two-year spell saw him earn a transfer to AS Monaco in 1997 and he experienced his first taste of success, winning Ligue 1 in 2000. His excellent form saw him pressing for a call up to represent Les Bleus, but he was initially overlooked by national coach Roger Lemerre.
The summer of 2000 saw Sagnol's career take on a completely different dimension. Transferred to the prestigious German club Bayern Munich, he did not take long to break into the first team. At Bayern, Sagnol consolidated his reputation as one of the best full backs of his generation. A solid defender but also equally comfortable operating in attacking positions (often as a wing-back), Sagnol's superb crossing ability marked him out as a key player in Bayern's attacking play. With the Bavarian club, he won the Bundesliga in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2008, as well as the Champions League in 2001 and the DFB-Pokal in 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2008. At international level, he had less success, often finding himself on the bench playing second fiddle to Lilian Thuram on the right-hand side of the French defense. It was not until the retirement of Marcel Desailly and Thuram's consequent move into the centre of the French defense that Sagnol finally became first choice right-back in 2004, and remained there for the next four years.
Sagnol was part of France's squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, starting each of his country's seven games en route to the final. His competent performances, aided by France's progression to the final led to him being named as one of the outstanding defensive performers in the tournament. He saved his best display for the biggest stage of them all, the World Cup final, and was one of the better performers in a game largely remembered for off-the-ball events rather than on-the-field performances. Indeed, Sagnol's name could have been immortalized had his strong effort on goal not been successfully repelled by Gianluigi Buffon. Nonetheless, his performance was notable for a solid defensive contribution as well as important involvement in several attacking moves, such as when he provided a cross for his captain Zinedine Zidane, whose header was again superbly saved by Buffon.
In the qualification campaign for Euro 2008, fans saw a completely new side of Sagnol. On several occasions, Willy had good efforts on goal as well as still supplying his trademark crosses for teammates like Thierry Henry against Scotland at Hampden Park on 7 October 2006. Sagnol was one of his country's better performers in France's shock loss, having an impressive three efforts on goal from his right back spot, one in particular forcing a superb save from the goalkeeper. The following match, against the Faroe Islands in Paris, was his 50th for his country. His displays in that qualification campaign once more provided proof that Sagnol could be counted on for his consistent defensive play and also to provide extra quality when joining the attack.
He is married and has four children.
As of 28 December 2008[update]
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|France||League||Coupe de France||Coupe de la Ligue||Europe||Total|
- Bundesliga: 2000–01, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08
- DFB-Pokal: 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08
- Liga-Pokal: 2004, 2007
- UEFA Champions League: 2000–01
- Intercontinental Cup: 2001
- "FIFA World Cup Germany 2006: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 11 May 2010. p. 11. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "Sagnol hört auf, 'aber mein Herz bleibt hier'". fcbayern.de (in German). 2 February 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
- "Sagnol forced to call it a day". uefa.com. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
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