Joe Cole's career has taken him all over the world, but the playmaker dreams of representing his country in his own backyard. The Liverpool Echo reports the on-loan Liverpool midfielder wants a spot on Great Britain's 2012 Olympic team.
"I would love to play in the Olympics," he said. "I would be very excited because it is in London, in east London where I started my football career."
The men's Olympic soccer tournament is primarily for players under the age of 23, but participating nations are allowed three exemptions for older players. Cole hopes he can secure one of these. David Beckham has also stated his desire to play in the London Olympics.
After failing to seal a spot in the Liverpool first-team, Cole gambled that a season-long loan to French club Lille would rejuvenate his career. It has paid of so far, as the England international has made 14 appearances for the defending Ligue 1 champions, scoring three goals and assisting on four more.
The 30-year-old has made 56 appearances for England, but none since the 2010 World Cup. He has, at best, an outside shot of cracking Fabio Capello's England squad for next summer's European Championships.
While the Olympics would be a perfect consolation prize for Cole, he won't let the disappointment of a stalled international career distract him from his current task.
"I love the Olympics, I love the sport. I've been trying to get tickets but it is very hard so I better get playing in it. I love playing for my country. If it comes, great. If it doesn't, my main focus is to win some trophies for Lille."
Cole is scheduled to return to Liverpool next summer. He has taken to life in France and there is a possibility he, Lille and Liverpool will seek to make the move a permanent one.
Thumbnail photo via Flickr/ca1951rr
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