Aston Villa midfielder Yacouba Sylla is happy to have committed himself to Mali.

Sylla was committed at U21 level by France before pledging himself to Mali.

"The Mali manager asked me to play in the build-up to the World Cup finals," he told Villa's website.

"I realised I had more chance of playing international football by doing that because there are so many top players in France.

"Unfortunately, we didn't qualify for Brazil but I don't regret my decision.

"Obviously it would have been good to qualify, but I'm looking forward to watching Ron Vlaar and Brad Guzan play for their countries this summer.

"It should be an excellent tournament and I will enjoy watching our players."

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