Happiness key for Cole
Joe Cole has insisted the most important thing about his move to France was to find happiness.
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 07/10/11 3:35pm
Joe Cole has insisted the most important thing about his move to France was to find happiness, and he has no regrets about making the switch.
Cole has joined French champions Lille on loan for the season from Liverpool.
His move across the Channel was a shock to a number of people, but he insists that he has no regrets after settling in quickly to life in the North of France.
"Let's say I knew Lille is on the Eurostar line and it is in the North of France. I only came once to France in Paris, but never at Lille," he explained to L'Equipe.
"Anyway, I am here to settle, give my very best and fling my body and soul into the fight. I am not a half measure man. My parents came for each match I already played here.
"I want to dive in and submerge myself here, and learn the French language.
"I studied it for five years in school but I was so hopeless.
"Anyway, I am determined to learn it one way or another. I am building 'petit à petit' [little by litte].
"The first time I came to Lille I took the Eurostar. I realised it was faster to join Lille from London that going to Liverpool.
"If you ask any player in the world where he would like to play, he would rather reply Real Madrid or Barcelona. But you can't follow a straight path or follow your dreams.
"The most important thing is to find happiness. I came here to play football and have fun. I am very happy, I made the right decision."
Cole also gave his thoughts on why so few top English plays tend to play abroad.
"Usually Englishmen are not great travellers," he continued.
"They are not very good at settling in somewhere and stay too. We are islanders, people often forget it.
"Immediately when I came at Luccin [the training centre] and I met my team-mates, I knew how much I had made the right decision.
"I immediately felt the state of mind: all the people here got on well and are friends.
"It is such a delight to come here every day to work.
"The state of mind is very collective. Playing football, passing the ball, going forward, that is the philosophy here.
"Our game is not selfish, it is generous. We are working hard for each other."
Cole also dismissed the notion that the French game is too slow.
"Le Championnat is very technical and very tactical too. That is the main philosophy of that league," he said.
"Ligue 1 players are very intelligent. Everything has been thought about. So it is very different than England.
"The fact French football is tactical makes it slower. But I don't say it is slow here, because there are very quick, even explosive phases, but the general pace is less high."