Glen Johnson believes fellow England full-back Ashley Cole does not always get the credit he deserves ahead of winning his 100th cap in Wednesday's friendly with Brazil at Wembley.
Cole made his international debut 11 years ago in the 3-1 win against Albania in Tirana, but has not always been held in the highest esteem by some England supporters.
But Johnson insists the Chelsea player is of the highest quality as a player and as a human being, and said: "The 100 caps is fantastic for Ashley and, for me, no-one deserves it more. As a player, he's been a proper pro for many years in the Premier League and done some great things in the game."
He continued: "It was great to see Stevie (Gerrard) do it not so long ago and Ash has been in the set-up for many years and thoroughly deserves it.
"He has been a key member of any team he has been involved with for season after season.
"Does he get the credit he deserves? Not at times, no. He's been in the set-up for such a long time, he's been a key player and consistent for many years.
"I certainly don't feel he deserves some of the stick he sometimes gets.
"He is very important for England. He started his 99 caps. If that doesn't tell a story, I don't know what does."
Cole has been reluctant to talk to the media in recent years but Johnson insisted: "Ash is quite a quiet lad. He keeps himself to himself. He hasn't spoken about getting to 100 caps directly but I'm sure inside he is buzzing and can't wait to get to that landmark.
"Off the pitch, he is one of the nicest guys you are going to meet. He is down to earth, up for a laugh and one of the lads, a top bloke."