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Saturday 30 August 2014

Roma recruit Cole claims English players scared to go abroad

Matt Law

Published 16/07/2014 | 02:30

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Ashley Cole poses for photographs as he is unveiled at his new club AS Roma. Photo: Paolo Bruno/Getty Images
Ashley Cole poses for photographs as he is unveiled at his new club AS Roma. Photo: Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Ashley Cole has claimed English footballers are scared to leave their comfort zones after becoming his country's only current representative in Italy's Serie A.

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Left-back Cole joined Roma, moving abroad for the first time in his career at the age of 33. England manager Roy Hodgson said their national team would benefit from more players going abroad after their dismal World Cup. Cole has now suggested that players would prefer to take the easy option and stay at home, rather that testing themselves abroad.

"English players are probably scared to come abroad," Cole said. "They are in a comfort zone in England, that's where we grew up, that's where we played in youth teams. As soon as I knew I had the chance to come abroad, to come to Italy, to come to this great club, it was something I wanted to do.

"It's a big opportunity for me to try a different language, culture and way of living."

The big news in Italy yesterday, however, was Antonio Conte stepping down as coach of Juventus after winning the Serie A title for three successive years.

The 44-year-old announced his decision in a video interview on the club's official website – just a day after the start of pre-season.

Juventus also confirmed Conte's decision to step down – citing mutual consent – with chairman Andrea Agnelli delivering a passionate tribute.

"Antonio, thank you for everything. Til the end," wrote Agnelli.

Meanwhile, Spain international Diego Costa has finally completed his move to Chelsea from Atletico Madrid. The clubs agreed a fee early this month, with Chelsea meeting the striker's buy-out clause of £32m.

Beskitas president Fikret Orman has claimed the Turkish club have agreed a fee with Chelsea to sign striker Demba Ba for a fee below Chelsea's £10m asking price. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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