Ashley Cole announces retireme...


Ashley Cole announces retirement from professional football

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Former Arsenal, Chelsea, Roma and LA Galaxy star Ashley Cole has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 38.

Cole earned 107 international caps with England, and was without a club since he finished last season with Derby County.

He made his professional debut for Arsenal in 1999, and also had a spell on loan with Crystal Palace.

Cole made the announcement in his role as a pundit on Sky Sports this afternoon.

He won thirteen major honours during his 20-year career. That includes two Premier League titles, once with the unbeaten Arsenal side of 2003-4, and then with Chelsea.

Cole won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2011-12 and the Europa League the following season. He is also the most decorated footballer in the history of the FA Cup, having won the trophy seven times across his career.

Announcing his decision on Sky Sports Cole said: "After hard consideration, it's time to hang my boots up and look towards my next chapter, which will hopefully be coaching."

He also spoke about his pride at what he had achieved during his time in football.

"As a young kid, I never expected to play one game or be a professional. Looking back, to be able to say I played in World Cups, Champions League finals, being lucky enough to lift Premier League titles - it's a young kid's dream.

"I fulfilled my dream and now I look to the future, hopefully as a great coach."

Cole is also the most-capped full-back in England's history, and he spoke today about representing his country.

"I probably didn't grasp it as much as I should.

"I look back now and think, 'I played for my country over 100 times'. I'm proud of that and it's just a little bit disappointing I didn't get to a final, or even a semi-final, with England."

Cole spent his last six months at Championship club Derby County under the management of now Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, his old teammate at Stamford Bridge, but left the club after nine league appearances.

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Arsenal Ashley Cole Chelsea Derby County England Fa Cup Football LA Galaxy Off The Ball Premier League Retirement Soccer

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