Joe Cole eyes Olympics and England - but not a return to Liverpool
Published 21:00 18/04/12 By John Cross
Joe Cole is desperate to play in the Olympics - and turn his loan move to Lille permanent.
Liverpool midfielder Cole, a native East Londoner, has made the cut in the reduced 80-strong GB men's football squad for the Games, and would love to be one of manager Stuart Pearce's final 18.
He has also not given up on regaining his England place, claiming his loan move to France has given him a new lease of life after the misery of his first season at Anfield.
The 30-year-old said: "Whenever I go home, I go past the Olympic village. I would love to play in the Olympics.
"If I am called up again for England, I will be delighted - especially as England are playing France in the first match of Euro 2012."
Cole also says he would love to stay at Lille beyond the end of his current season-long loan.
He has urged highly-rated team-mate Eden Hazard to stay despite interest from a string of Europe's top clubs, including Arsenal and Tottenham.
"I would like to stay, but it's not in my hands," said Cole. "I haven't spoken to anyone at Liverpool, I'm waiting to hear from them.
"I've been very well received here. I've discovered a football culture and a way of playing. The only thing that I miss is the atmosphere in the Premier League.
"The level is similar. I hope Hazard stays with Lille, but he will be a success wherever he plays."
Cole has tipped Manchester United to hold off Manchester City and retain the championship - and compared their togetherness to the unity he expeienced at Chelsea in the early days of Jose Mourinho's reign as manager.
"United will win the (Premier League) title. It's going to take a while for City to rival them," he said. "The money's only been there for two or three years.
"We had that (finance) at Chelsea but we won our first title because the atmosphere, the players and the coach were good."