Ashley Cole insists he joined LA Galaxy for trophies, not beaches

Ashley Cole

The former Arsenal and Chelsea defender has addressed comments he made in the summer of 2014 when he referred to MLS as "relaxing on a beach".

LA Galaxy new boy Ashley Cole has insisted that his past derogatory comments about MLS were taken out of context.

Cole, who joined the Galaxy last week after leaving Roma by mutual consent, drew the ire of the American soccer sphere upon signing for the Serie A club in the summer of 2014 when he claimed that had he turned down MLS offers because he was not "ready to relax on a beach yet."

Speaking at his introductory press conference on Friday, the 35-year-old defender stressed that the remarks did not reflect his true feelings about the league but acknowledged that it was now up to him to convince critics of his commitment.

“I'm not going to come here and try to defend myself," said Cole, who was being introduced alongside fellow offseason signing Jelle van Damme. "It was said. It was for sure taken out of content [sic] because I was talking to the reporter before, and he kind of said it to me, 'We're glad to have you at Roma, we didn't expect you to be here, we thought you'd go relax on the beach.'

"In the interview, I've said it, yes. It's come out my mouth, but of course you have to understand that I was at a new team and I have to kind of tell the fans that at Roma I was here to fight, I was there to influence and play in the Champions League in Europe.

"Of course, I hold my hands up. It was said. I have to deal with it. I hope I can kind of change the views of me coming here.”

Cole, who played 107 times for England, originally signed a two-year deal with Roma after leaving Chelsea on a free transfer at the end of the 2013-14 season, but he went on to make just 16 total appearances for the Italian giants before having his deal cut short last month.

The former Arsenal defender last featured in a competitive match almost 11 months ago, but he is now itching to prove a point to those who have written him off following his nightmare spell in Serie A.

"I did find it, of course, difficult the last two years, not playing as much as I hoped and wanted to," Cole added on his time with Roma. "This is a new challenge. I tried to keep myself as fit as I could, I am very motivated.

"Okay, I wasn't in the squads, but I tried to train as hard as I could, tried to stay in shape as much as I could.

“Now it's a new challenge, a new venture for me. I've always been born to play hard and win things and I don't come here any different.

“That's in my mindset, to come here and to win trophies."

Cole is set to play his first preseason game for the Galaxy on Tuesday when they take on Mexican side Club Tijuana at the StubHub Center.

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