7:07pm Wednesday 21st July 2010
© Press Association 2014
Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole is looking forward to the challenge of playing for "the biggest club in the country", insisting his move to Merseyside was decided purely on football terms.
Much was made of the wage demands - reportedly £90,000-a-week - the England international was making having become a free agent following his release from Chelsea. And having previously played for West Ham he was expected to remain in London, but was convinced Anfield was the place to start afresh.
"I have played in London all my life," said Cole. "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."
Cole said he remembered the atmosphere when he played at the ground for Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final of 2005, which Liverpool won on penalties before going on to lift the trophy in Istanbul, and was looking forward to experiencing that on a more regular basis.
"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," added the England international, who has signed a four-year contract after passing his medical.
"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.
"I know I have made the right decision and I am looking forward to the challenge."
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