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More Joe Cole answers
Around the Academy:

England's Joe Cole answers your questions

Other than being a footballer, what other sport would you have had done?
Mo, Warwickshire

I love boxing and as a youngster I did some boxing training at St.Pancras boxing club, which was my local club.

So maybe boxing would have been an option. I really like watching Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe, they are both exciting to watch.

I love practising my tricks. What's the best trick you've ever done?
Cat, Leeds

I don't really know what the best trick is I've done - I will leave that to others to speculate!

Any trick that leads to a goal or sets up an opportunity for a team-mate is always good.

When I do my tricks, it is because I'm trying to beat a player or set up a team-mate - it is not a case of showing off.

What's your favourite type of biscuit?
Tatts, Luton

Chocolate hob nobs, but I try not to eat too many!

Are there any unusual nicknames the players have for each other in the Chelsea dressing room?
Aisling, London

Hernan Crespo was called Jon Bon Jovi after he had his haircut.

We call Claude Makelele "Jeffery" after the butler form the Fresh Prince of Bel Air!

How do you mentally prepare for each match?
Daniel, Australia

I try to relax as much as possible, just chilling out listening to music. Each player is different.

We are very thorough in the training and preparation for our games and know what we have to do on the pitch.

Some players will get psyched up, whilst others will remain calm. We all have our own routines but come the match I am always fully focused.

Which player/team will you be most looking forward to playing against in Euro 2004?
Ben, Prudhoe

France and especially Zindane because he such an amazing player and I have never seen him play live, only on TV.

France have some great players and it will be good to play against my Chelsea team-mates Makelele,Gallas and Desailly.

Do you listen to music before matches? Who has the worst musical taste in the England squad?
Steph, Malvern

We listen to music before matches and I prefer Frank Sinatra and Oasis - they're my favourite band.

I have to say that David James has the worst taste!

How often did you practise when you were my age and what did you do to practise?
John, Dunfermline

I practised every day and I still do. You can never stop learning and improving. It's important to listen to your coaches and your team-mates - they can really help your game.

I just used to practice my skills. You have to be comfortable and confident with the ball. And I would always use both feet when practising.

Who was your inspiration to learn football and become so good?
Nathan, Kent

Paul Gascoigne. He is my favourite English player. His goal against Scotland at wembley in Euro 96 was superb and I was lucky enough to be in the crowd that day.

I was lucky enough to play in the same side as Gazza in Martin Keown's testimonial and even though it was a great night for Martin it was also great for me!

How can you play in front of millions of screaming fans? Don't you get nervous?
Joe, Carrick

I don't get nervous. Playing football is all I have ever wanted.

It is a dream come true for me and I just go out to perform my best and to enjoy myself.

Joe's first answers

Joe Cole's fab facts
Born: 8 Nov 1981
Birthplace: Islington, London
Height: 5ft 9in
Weight: 9stone 8
Clubs: Chelsea, West Ham
England caps: 15
England goals: 2

Did you know?
Chelsea grabbed Joe's services for 6.6 million in 2003

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