As England prepare to take on Brazil this Wednesday night at Wembley, the night is sure to be an extra special one for England and Chelsea left back Ashley Cole, who is set to earn his 100th cap for his country.
Since his England Debut in 2001 against Albania, Cole has been almost ever present in the England line up, and has featured in 6 international tournaments during his career. During his club career, He has amassed a total of 12 major club competitions, including being part of the victorious Chelsea team that won the Champions League last season, and was this week described by England under 21’s boss Stuart Pearce as ‘the best left-back that has ever played for England.
However, Cole has gained a reputation over the years as one of footballs great mercenaries, famously stating in his autobiography his disgust at being offered £55,000 a week by then Arsenal Vice-Chairman David Dein to keep him at Arsenal. Instead, Cole chose the ultimate betrayal for Gunners fans and joined Chelsea after being tapped up by Mourinho and the Chelsea board, something Cole was later fined £75,000 for his part in.
He has also been involved in numerous off the field incidents, including altercations with the police, speeding at 106mph in a residential road, and famously cheating on his wife, Cheryl Cole, numerous times. It is for these reasons that England fans find it very difficult to recognise Cole alongside greats such as David Beckham, Bobby Charlton, Peter Shilton and Bobby Moore, who also reached the milestone for England, yet it is undeniable that based on consistency and performance, Ashley Cole is one of the best players ever to wear the three lions.