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By ESPN Staff
Jul 15, 2014

Ashley Cole: UCL key to Roma choice

Ashley Cole spent eight years at Chelsea.

Ashley Cole says he chose to move to Roma as he wanted to keep on playing Champions League football.

- LIVE: Transfer Talk
- De Martinis: Cole brings experience and depth

Cole, 33, signed for the Serie A side on a free transfer earlier this month after his contract at Chelsea came to an end.

The former England international reportedly had the option to earn more money in MLS, but says performing in the game's biggest club competition was more important to him.

"I decided to come here because I want to keep playing in the Champions League," Cole told a news conference after being unveiled by Roma.

"I'm joining an ambitious club that has signed some very experienced players and I'm ready to fight for my place."

Cole added: "I spent 14 years at the top level in England fighting to win things and for my place in the team. I noticed the Roma fans' passion and love as soon as I landed.

"I can't wait to play at the [Stadio] Olimpico and feel the fans' support. I'm going to enjoy my time here."

Cole's final season as a Chelsea player saw him lose his place in the team for the first time since arriving from Arsenal in 2006, with Cesar Azpilicueta taking his place.

The left-back says he holds no grudges against Blues boss Jose Mourinho and is now looking forward to working under Rudi Garcia at Roma.

"I've always had a good relationship with him. I understand that he was perhaps looking for something else and my time at Chelsea had come to an end," he said.

"As soon as I spoke to Garcia and I saw how much they wanted me here at Roma I jumped at the chance. Hopefully we can do something special next season and win the league.

"Similarities between Mourinho and Garcia? It's too early to say, ask me again in six months' time. I've had some great managers in my time and I'm sure I'll work with another one here at Roma."

Cole's move to Roma came as a surprise to some given that few English players have opted to play elsewhere in Europe over the years.

"I think perhaps English players feel in their comfort zone in England," Cole added. "It's a big opportunity for me to try a different language, culture and way of living. I'm happy with my choice."

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