Ashley Cole struggled while trying to pronounce Europa League team names


The draw for the Europa League group stage was made in Monaco on Friday.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Wolves, Celtic and Rangers all found out their opponents for the European competition.

The Red Devils, the 2017 winners, will take on Astana, Partizan Belgrade and AZ Alkmaar.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have been drawn against Eintracht Frankfurt, Standard Liege and Vitoria.

Wolves are playing in Europe for the first time since 1980. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will face Besiktas, Braga and Slovan Bratislava.

Rangers are in a tough group that includes Porto while Celtic will play Lazio.

The tournament has extra importance to Man United and Arsenal, both of whom will view it as another way to book a place in next season’s Champions League.


Fans of both teams won’t have enjoyed watching the draw but Ashley Cole’s presence made it entertaining.

The former Arsenal and Chelsea left-back struggled as he pronounced some tricky team names during the draw, prompting plenty of laughter on social media.

He struggled with Espanyol (“Espanya”), Istanbul Basaksehir (“Istanbul Basisiska”), Stade Rennais (“Stad Renz”) and Basel (“Bazil”).

BT Sport have compiled Cole’s funniest pronunciations into a short video.

Poor Ashley. At least he could see the funny side.

Fans were left in stitches.

"Ashley Cole not being able to pronounce half the teams drawn is the highlight of this draw already,” one tweet read.

Another fan said: "You can see the fear in Ashley Cole’s eyes as he prepares to pronounce some of these club names."

Bookmaker Paddy Power joked that Cole was relieved when he saw Wolverhampton Wanderers appear in the draw.

“Finally one he knows,” they wrote.

Cole used the ceremony to reveal his next step following his retirement.

The former England international will return to Chelsea to coach their Under-15s.

“I've worked under some great managers, took a lot from them so I will go back to Chelsea and work with their Under-15s and see where it goes from there,” he said.

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