Born 8th November 1981, Cole started his career with West Ham United where he played more than 100 games during five years, until he left for Chelsea in 2003. Cole won a number of trophies with Chelsea, including three Premier League titles and two FA Cups before leaving on a free transfer in July 2010 to join Liverpool. He is described as a technically gifted player with the creativity to unlock a defence.
A child prodigy who received national media attention as a schoolboy, Cole famously scored seven of the eight goals the England youth team scored against Spain in one match. He was long touted as the hottest prospect in English football with Manchester United reportedly offering to pay £10 million for his services as a 16 year old. Cole made his West Ham debut aged 17 and in 1999 was part of West Ham’s victorious FA Youth Cup winning squad alongside Michael Carrick. In 2003 Cole was given the club captain’s armband aged 21 and although the club was relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season Cole won several plaudits for his performances and was named ‘Hammer of the Year’ in 2003.
Cole then signed for Chelsea and won several trophies with the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard in the ‘Jose Mourinho’ era. Cole made 184 appearances for the Blue’s scoring 28 goals before signing for Liverpool in 2010.
Cole became Roy Hodgson’s first signing as Liverpool manager and was given the number 10 shirt. He made his Liverpool debut in the Europa League against Rabotnicki. Cole enjoyed a mix run of form in his first season for Liverpool and it was decided by the then manager of Liverpool Kenny Dalglish to let Cole join French champions Lille OSC. He enjoyed an impressive season in France playing 31 times, scoring 4 league goals. Despite Lille’s desire to keep Cole at the club it was announced that Brendan Rodgers wanted the player to rejoin the Liverpool squad.
Cole has made 56 senior appearances for England and has scored 10 international goals. Making his debut back in 2001 against Mexico, Cole was then named in the 2002 FIFA World Cup squad and the 2004 UEFA European Championship squad. His form for Chelsea made him an England regular and he was named in the starting 11 for England’s 2006 FIFA World Cup group games.
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