Ashley Cole has announced his retirement at the age of 38, bringing to an end a 20-year playing career.
He bows out as one of the most decorated players in the history of the domestic game, as well as the most-capped full-back in England’s history.
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.”
“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 established himself as one of the best defenders in the country at Arsenal, winning three FA Cups and two Premier League titles – his second as part of the famous Invincibles side in 2004.
He then made a controversial move to Chelsea in 2006 after a contract dispute with the Gunners. Cole infamously described in his book how their offer of £55,000-a-week left him “trembling with anger”.
However, he continued to lift trophies at Stamford Bridge, winning another Premier League title, the Champions League, the League Cup and the Europa League.
Cole also claimed another four FA Cups with the Blues, making him the most successful player in the history of the competition.