21 July 2014 16:55
Ashley Cole is looking forward to shaking off his “money-grabber” image after moving to Roma from Chelsea.
Cole moved the Serie A runners-up on a two-year deal a fortnight ago, after a trophy-laden eight seasons at Stamford Bridge.
The left-back’s supreme talent has seen him win three Premier League titles and the 2012 UEFA Champions Leagues, as well as seven FA Cup medals – more than any other player.
Cole also made headlines off the pitch in a celebrity marriage to pop star Cheryl Tweedy, while accidentally shooting a work experience student with an air rifle at Chelsea’s training ground and admitting his disgust at being offered £50,000 a week by previous club Arsenal did little to enhance his reputation.
And having grown tired of the negative press in his homeland, Cole is looking forward to a fresh start in Italy.
He told Roma Channel: “I’m not the guy that people think. If you ask my friends and my family they know me as a kind, caring and considerate guy.
“I’ve made mistakes like anyone else but I’m kind of shy and try to keep myself to myself.
“In England it’s kind of hard with the press, it’s different to here but this was another reason why I came here – to get away from that.
“It was kind of jarring in the end that everyone thought of me as a money grabber, cheat or not a nice guy overall which is totally the opposite of what I am.”
Cole rejected offers from MLS in order to join Roma, who finished 17 points behind champions Juventus last term.
With Antonio Conte having left the Turin giants, Cole is looking forward to running them even closer this season as Roma go in search of a first Scudetto in 14 years.
“Why Roma? It was the ambition of the club,” he added.
“It’s a big club they came second last year when I spoke to the manager the desire they showed to win the Scudetto was something that I wanted to be part of.
“I had a few offers from lower-league teams, a few in America but I’m not ready to give up and just enjoy the life and sit on a beach – I’m here to win.
“I’ve had a lot of success in my career and I don’t want to stop.
“I’m 33, yes getting older, but the determination the desire to fight is still there.”