when in rome

Ashley Cole: 'English players are afraid to play abroad'

The ex-Arsenal and Chelsea man was speaking at his official unveiling as a Roma player.

ACCORDING TO NEW ROMA SIGNING Ashley Cole, English players don’t move abroad because they’re afraid to.

The 33 year-old made the comments during his first press conference as a member of the Giallorossi. The former Arsenal and Chelsea defender has signed a two-year contract with the club, who finished second to Juventus in last season’s Serie A title race.

English players are probably afraid to come abroad, they’re in a comfort zone in England. This is a chance for me to try a different language, culture and way of living,”

Despite falling out of favour at Chelsea and with Roy Hodgson’s England setup, Cole stills feels he has plenty to give and admitted it was the lure of Champions League football and the plans Roma has for the future that made his mind up.

“I came here to play in the Champions League. Roma is an ambitious club, it’s a challenge for me and I’m prepared to fight for my place. Hopefully we can do something special here next season and win Serie A.”

Rome is a notoriously intense football city with an incredible array of programming on TV and radio dedicated to the sport. As Cole turned up for his first training session with the club, he was greeted by a few hundred fans – a similar scene to when he arrived in the city to sign his contract.

Representing the local side brings inevitable pressure and, especially carrying a high-profile name, Cole is sure to be under the spotlight straight away. But, he insists he’s fully aware of the expectations and is looking forward to the intensity.

“I’m not afraid of pressure. I noticed the fans’ passion and love as soon as I landed. I’m going to enjoy my time here. I feel fit, I kept myself busy in pre-season but I still have a bit to go.”

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