Wolverhampton Wanderers were handed some tough away trips as the draw for the group stage of the Europa League was made – but spare a thought for Ashley Cole who was savaged after struggling to pronounce the names of some of the teams.
Cole, the former Arsenal, Chelsea and England full-back, helped to conduct Friday’s draw in Monaco with UEFA secretary general Giorgio Marchetti.
But the 38-year-old was the subject of some trolling on social media for mispronouncing several team names.
These included Basel from Switzerland, Spain’s Espanyol, Istanbul Basaksehir of Turkey, and French side Stade Rennais.
Fans were quick to point out his mistakes as they took to Twitter to joke about it, the Sun reports.
One user said: “Most entertaining European draw ever with Ashley Cole!
“We’ve had “Bazil” (Basel), “Espanya” (Espanyol), “Istanbul Basisiska” (Istanbul Basaksehir) and “Renz” (Stade Rennais)”
“Ashley Cole just stared at the name of the team he had drawn for three seconds in complete bemusement before uttering the word ‘Espanya’,” adder another. “It was Espanyol.”
One tweet said: “You can see the fear in Ashley Cole’s eyes as he prepares to pronounce some of these club names.”
“Ashley Cole not being able to pronounce half the teams drawn is the highlight of this draw already,” mused another user.
Bookies Paddy Power cheekily suggested Cole was ‘delighted’ when he pulled Wolves out.
“Ashley Cole delighted when he saw the name ‘Wolverhampton Wanderers’,” they said. “Finally one he knows.”
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have been drawn to face Besiktas, Braga and SK Slovan Bratislava in Group K of the Europa League and it all begins against the Portuguese outfit on home turf.
Wolves’ second fixture will see them travel to Istanbul to take on Besiktas on October 3 in what, on paper at least, looks the toughest fixture of the Group Stage.
Nuno and his players face another away game at Slovan Bratislava on October 24 before facing the same opponent at Molineux two weeks later.
Wolves travel to Braga’s picturesque Municipal Stadium on November 28 and finish the group at home to Besiktas on December 12.