Cole calls time on England career

May 12, 2014
Football - International Football - Bet Now at Bet365

Roy Hodgson has praised Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole who has called time on his international career after being left out of England's World Cup squad.

The 33-year-old former Arsenal star represented his country on 107 occasions and featured in three World Cups, but the England manager has opted to take Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw to Brazil instead of Cole.

Hodgson will confirm his 23-man squad, plus seven standby players, on Monday afternoon.

"I got the call from Roy and agree the England team should be about the young players. I think it best I retire from the England team now," said Cole.

"We have a great manager and team and I wish them only success. I will be supporting them like a true fan. Thanks to everyone for everything.

"Leighton Baines and Shaw are great players, proved this season, and are the future of this country, it was a pleasure to get 107 caps.

"Like me or not, trust me it's hurt me to stop playing for my country #proud and #honoured."

Meanwhile, Hodgson said of Cole: "He's been an incredible competitor for England. There are few players who can be considered among the very best in the world, but Ashley in his prime was the best left-back without question."

Cole made his international debut against Albania in March 2001 but he has often been left out of Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side this season.

After featuring in the 2-0 victory at Hull City in early January, Cole did not make another Premier League appearance for three months when he played in the 3-0 victory against Stoke City.

England have been drawn alongside Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D and open their World Cup campaign with a clash against the Azzurri in Manaus on Sunday 14th June.

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