Ashley Cole retires from playing and plans move into coaching | Football
Ashley Cole has said he is planning a move into coaching after calling time on his illustrious playing career.
38-year-old Cole, who won 107 caps for England, announced his retirement on Sky Sports, where he was appearing as a pundit for Sunday afternoon’s Premier League games.
“After hard thinking and consideration, it was obviously time to hang my boots up and look towards my next chapter, which will hopefully be coaching. I’m doing a course at the moment,” Cole said. “Now I want to be great at being a coach.”
“As a young kid I never expected to be a professional, so looking back now, to be able to say I played in World Cups, Champions League finals … being lucky enough to lift Premier League titles is a young kid’s dream, so I’ve fulfilled my dream. [It’s been] incredible, to be honest.”
Despite his impressive haul of domestic trophies, Cole said he was proudest of his England caps. Only Peter Shilton, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Bobby Moore have made more England appearances.
“I probably didn’t grasp it as much as I should,” Cole added. “I look back now and I’ve played for my country, not just once but I’ve managed to play 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 began his career with Arsenal and, after a brief loan spell at Palace, went on to make more than 200 appearances for the North London side, lifting the FA Cup three times and winning the Premier League twice.
He was a member of the “Invincibles” team who went through the 2003-04 Premier League season unbeaten, but left the club in acrimonious circumstances two years later. His move to Chelsea angered Arsenal fans, who dubbed him “Cashley”. In his autobiography, Cole said he had “nearly swerved off the road” after being told by his agent that Arsenal were offering him £55,000 per week, compared to £90,000 from Chelsea.
Cole was fined £100,000 – later reduced to £75,000 on appeal – for his part in an illegal approach from Chelsea in 2005. A year later, Cole joined Chelsea for £5m, with William Gallas moving the other way.
The left-back won the FA Cup in his first season at Chelsea, and four times in total while at Stamford Bridge. Cole also won the Premier League in 2010 and the Champions League in 2012, scoring in the penalty shootout as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in the final.
After leaving Chelsea in 2014, Cole enjoyed spells with Roma and LA Galaxy before ending his playing career under former Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard at Derby. Cole joined in January and helped Lampard’s side reach the Championship play-off final, where they lost to Aston Villa.