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Ashley Cole Announces Retirement From England National Team After World Cup Snub

8883282684 3b29c6e2de z Ashley Cole Announces Retirement From England National Team After World Cup Snub

Chelsea left back Ashley Cole, long considered one of the best left backs in the world, has announced his retirement from the England national team.

Cole announced the news on his official Twitter account, stating that he received a phone call from England manager Roy Hodgson to break the news to him that he would not be included in the 23-man England squad for World Cup 2014 that will officially be revealed on Monday at 9am ET (which will be streamed live via World Soccer Talk).

The 33-year-old Chelsea defender earned 107 caps with England, an honor that made him the most-capped black player in England history, as well as the most-capped full back. Cole retires from England as the fifth most-capped England footballer of all time.

Cole stated,

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

“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]┬áBaines and [Luke] 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 honored.”

While Cole’s England career appears to be over, his club future is in doubt too where he may have played his last game for Chelsea Football Club.

Meanwhile, England manager Roy Hodgson released the following statement in response to Cole’s omission.

“Among many difficult decisions I’ve had to make for my squad, not selecting Ashley was one of the hardest.

“He’s been an incredible competitor for England, to amass over a century of caps is a truly staggering achievement and he deserves enormous credit for the desire and brilliance which has shone through over the years he has represented his country.

“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.”

“The most important factor was speaking to Ashley prior to the announcement on Monday, he deserved to hear it directly from me and he took the news with huge grace.

“In two years working with him he has shown nothing but relentless professionalism, and a great hunger to play for England. He is someone I have the utmost respect for and I wished him all the best, he in turn wished the team well this summer.

“Of course I must respect his decision to retire, he has been one of England’s finest players, but I want to look to the future.

“It has been one of the hardest decisions of my career.”


About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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