Chelsea defender Ashley Cole looks set to reach the milestone of 100 England caps as England take on Brazil at Wembley on Wednesday night, and the praise has been widespread from his peers, who appreciate the talents of a full-back who has won pretty much everything there is to win at club level.
Cole added a Champions League winner’s medal to his impressive trophy cabinet last campaign, despite Chelsea starting the knockout stages as outsiders in the Champions League football bets with Titan Bet and his team-mates have been full of compliments for the 32-year-old.
England captain Steven Gerrard has been leading the praise, saying: “He’s probably been the most consistent player I’ve played with during my time. It’s going to be Ashley’s night, if he’s picked to play, and the players are certainly going to show him a hell of a lot of support. Let’s hope the fans do as well.
“He deserves to be a 100-cap player, there’s no doubt about it. I think there’s been years over the last 12 when Ashley Cole has been the best left-back in the world.”
Cole’s reputation with the England fans however hasn’t always been so complimentary. The popularity of ex-wife Cheryl Cole has been one reason for this, but also as the defender was reported to have shot a lad with an air rifle who was on work experience at Chelsea’s training ground.
Despite off the field antics which have been highly publicised by the media, Cole has been an almost ever-present in the England defence since making his debut under Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2001 against Albania.
Former England left-back and current Under 21 manager Stuart Pearce was full of praise for Cole’s performances on the pitch, saying: “In my mind, he’s the best left-back that’s ever played for England. That’s a fact, in my eyes.
“To play 100 times for his country is an amazing achievement. It shows not just a consistency of ability, it shows a dedication to want to turn up week in, week out, month in, month out for your country.”
Cole should receive a warm welcome from all England fans on Wednesday night; to play for your national side 100 times is a great achievement, and in doing so he will join an exclusive club. Only six players have played 100 times for England, with Gerrard also being one of them after he made his 100th appearance against Sweden in November.