Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cole admits he has signed for the best club in the country

Joe Cole has described Liverpool as the "biggest club" in England after finalising his free-transfer move to Merseyside on Wednesday.

Cole was available as a free agent following his release by Chelsea and spurned interest from Arsenal and Tottenham to sign a four-year deal worth a reported £90,000 per week.

Liverpool are currently in pre-season training in Austria and in his first interview after joining the club, Cole expressed his belief that the Reds represent the pinnacle of English football.

"I set myself a deadline to make a decision and when I made it I sent a text to Christian Purslow and Steven Gerrard and then turned my phone off," Cole told the club's official website.

"I know I have made the right decision and I am looking forward to the challenge. This is a challenge for me. I have played in London all my life. I could have stayed at Chelsea because the fans loved me and I won things, but I wanted to challenge myself and when I knew Liverpool were interested it was a no-brainer because they are the biggest club in the country.

"This is a massive club. I tried to take everything out of the equation, take the financial and location side out and just thought in football terms. I thought about the semi-final of the Champions League in 2005 when I ran onto the field and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I was thinking about playing in that atmosphere every week and that swung it for me."

Cole's signing was warmly welcomed by Liverpool fans and also captain Steven Gerrard, who promptly indicated that his long-term future lies with the club. Gerrard had been linked with a move to Real Madrid but Cole is delighted his England colleague will remain at Anfield.

"That was the best bit of news I could have had," Cole said. "I know Stevie, he is Liverpool through and through and I know from playing with and against him for the last ten years what a quality player he is. I know how much this club means to him.

"I think players can play for other clubs but with Liverpool you have to live and breathe it. It's that kind of a place. I am excited by the challenge. I am moving my family and everyone is excited and booking their weekends up here. I am going to make it work.

"I had a chat with the gaffer about football and was impressed with him. The club has had Spanish and French managers over the years and I think it's a breath of fresh air to get an Englishman in. The club finished seventh last year, which wasn't good enough, and he explained where the club wants to go.

"I jumped on board because with the players we have here and the players we are looking to bring in, it's definitely going in the right direction."

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