Now a first team coach at Premier League side Everton FC, Cole was a specialist at the left-back position and considered by many as one of the best defenders of his generation. A success with both Arsenal and Chelsea FC, we take a look at some of the best quotes about Ashley Cole.
Born in London, Cole won the English Premier League with both the London clubs, and also appeared in 107 internationals for the England national team.
As one of just two players to have won the ‘double’ with two different clubs, Cole is also the record holder for having won the most FA Cup winners’ medals with seven in the space of 11 years.
His international pedigree saw him play at three different World Cups, and two European Championship competitions. His tally of caps made him England’s most successful full-back in terms of appearances made.
A mostly ever-present in the Premier League, Cole also tried a stint with Italian side Roma, and with the Major League Soccer team, LA Galaxy. His total of just over 500 league matches came in a 20-year period.
Having retired in 2019, Cole then became a coach, helping the England Under-21s before joining up with his former Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.
Cole was praised for his defensive techniques and his goal-stopping abilities, with an attacking tendency which came from his early days when he wanted to score goals. In a lengthy career, he netted just 21 times.
“He is good when he has to defend and he is really good going forward…..He is so good with his movement. When he has the ball, no problems. He is good when he gets to the box and also understands how to play a pass. Other players don’t know what to do when they get in that position. But Ashley is always dangerous with his passes.”
Fabio Capello (England manager)
“His positioning still to this day and his crossing are unbelievable. He’d still be able to fill in for me if he needed to!…..He’s one of the best left-backs there’s ever been, so to learn from him is great. He’s a top guy and still down with the lads. But also at the right times he’s serious. It’s great to have him around.”
Luke Thomas (Leicester City and England U21 player)
“Obviously 100 caps is an amazing number of games, so he has done something well throughout his career…..He’s a great player, he’s doing very well for us and hopefully he can do well for England for years to come.”
Rafa Benitez (Chelsea manager)
“He is a top player. It’s important to speak about him as a player…..He’s quite quiet privately, reserved in the squad, but he comes alive on the pitch…..It’s been an absolute pleasure to play with him over the years…..He has been one of the best left-backs this country has every produced.
Steven Gerrard (England captain)
“He’s been a fantastic player…..He still is a fantastic player.”
Roy Hodgson (England manager)
“He is one of the best left-backs in the world…..The number of caps Ashley has is not a surprise.”
“Cole played very well…..He is a good player…..he has not played that much over the last six months, so we are being smart. He is a player with a lot of experience and quality.”
Bruce Arena (LA Galaxy coach)
“He is a defender who simply loves to attack. Defends, because he has to defend and because it is part of his job. Everybody loves to play with [him] because as soon as you won the ball back, he was up there to attack.”
Arsene Wenger (Arsenal manager)
“Ashley does not need people saying, “Do this” or “Go there”. He knows, he knows…..”
Silvinho (Arsenal team-mate)
“Ashley has self-belief but crucially, he believes in himself quietly. That is one of the vital ingredients for progress. He has no airs and graces and no ego.”
Liam Brady (Arsenal’s head of youth development)
“After Silvinho you can play left-back. You are one of the best left-backs at the club and one day will be one of the best in the world.”
Arsene Wenger (speaking to player)
“Ashley Cole is our best-ever left-back…..”
Stuart Pearce (former England football player)
“Cole is the best left-back in the world…..I am very happy that Ashley has committed himself to Chelsea…..He is one of the best left-backs in the world but I believe his best is yet to come. I am very pleased that will happen in a Chelsea shirt.”
Carlo Ancelotti (Chelsea manager)
“…..an important player…..He was a vital member of our squad and we enjoyed some major successes with him.”
Jens Lehmann (former Arsenal team-mate)
“He is one of the best left-backs in the world. We would miss him badly…..But if he goes there it will look like we are trying to catch a team at the same time as giving them one of our best assets.”
Thierry Henry (Arsenal captain)
“…..he is an important player…..Ashley is very good when we defend and good going forward. He is really dangerous…..”
“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.”
“…..add Ashley into my backroom team. Everyone knows about his superb playing career and what he has achieved in the game….. He’ll bring a wealth of enthusiasm, game-play experience and is a very good young coach who adds strength to our coaching staff.”
Frank Lampard (Everton Manager)
“…..a big factor for me was speaking to Ashley Cole when I came here and seeing the career that he had here…..Obviously I wanted to emulate him and still do. To have someone like that who has played for Chelsea, who is English, it was important for me.”
Ben Chilwell (Chelsea defender)