Ashley Cole press conference

Ashley Cole was presented today to the media. Here his words from his opening press conference.

Why did you choose to change championship after so many years in England?
“To keep accumulating Champions League caps. I’ve arrived in an ambitious club which became stronger than last year by making experienced and young signings. For me it’s a great challenge, I’ve ready to fight for a spot in the team and to win titles.”

How do you think about England performance at the World Cup?
“I’ve seen the games as a normal fan, it was a very young squad with some players who had the occasion to make a good experience and grow up. Things went worse than we expected, but this experience will be useful for them in the future. I’ve seen many positive things, the future is bright.”

How was the relationship between you and Mourinho? Can you see some similarities between him and Garcia?
“I’ve always had a very good relationship with Mourinho, but after a while things change and I probably wasn’t so useful for Chelsea anymore; my agent reported the interest shown by Roma, so I made this decision. I’ve had a chat with the staff, I’ve appreciated the interest the club had in me and the fact that they considered me useful for their immediate future, so I’ve jumped at the opportunity. I’m in an ambitious club and I hope to win with Roma. It’s too early to make any comparison between Mourinho and Garcia, maybe after six months I’ll be able to give a more accurate judgment.”

Why has Italy had just few English players playing in Serie A?
“Maybe are the players themselves who are afraid to go abroad, they are used to the English culture and they grew up in those youth sector. Usually the decision of staying in your home country is dictated by convenience. For what concern me, as soon as I’ve heard about this possibility I was happy to go with it. It’s been an opportunity to move away from London to play in another league and experience a new language, a new culture and a different way of living.”

About the issue of racism in Italy.
“Several journalists asked me this question, and it’s difficult to answer. I’ve felt this on my own skin, and probably it’s the time to intervene with resolution. But I’m no one to say what should be done and what the punishment should be, those are decisions which have to be made by the big wheels. As a football player, my interest is to play football and to stay out of this kind of issues.”

Do you fear the pressure that might come from this kind of environment?
“Not at all, I’m used to this as I’ve spent 14 years in England, fighting to be a starter in two of the best clubs in the league. It’s what I want to keep on doing, I’ve instantly realized the passion and the love of the roman people for the club. But that’s the reason why I’m here, to live these emotions and enjoy the city and this professional experience.”

What are the main features of a winning manager?
“A good manager is able to manage its players properly, and to push them to do their best on the pitch. I’ve been managed by great names such as Wenger, Scolari and Mourinho and I’m sure that here at Roma it’s going to be the same.”

Did you speak with Eto’o? Did he ask you about Rome and Roma?
“No, I’ve only heard what my London friends told me. He’s a great player and an excellent striker, the squad would improve dramatically with him upfront. But it’s not my competence to make this kind of decisions. ”

Do you feel fit? How was the first day in Trigoria?
“I’m far from my best condition, but my first training went smooth. It was just a warm-up session. Next week we’ll be in the US, we’ll be in a great condition at the start of the season.”