CHELSEA LEFT-BACK Ashley Cole has announced his retirement from international football after being told he’d been left out of England manager Roy Hodgson’s squad for the World Cup.
“I got the call from Roy and agree England team should be about the young players,” the 33-year-old Cole told his Twitter followers.
“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,” the 107-times capped Cole added ahead of Hodgson’s official squad announcement on Monday.
Cole’s announcement indicated his failure to hold down a regular first-team spot at Chelsea this season, where he has been displaced by Spain’s Cesar Azpilicueta, had cost him his England career. His omission means that Everton’s Leighton Baines is set to be confirmed as England’s leading left-back when Hodgson unveils his 23-man squad for the World Cup finals, with Southampton teenager Luke Shaw providing cover for the 29-year-old.
Source: Chris Ison
“#Baines and #shaw are great players, proved this season, and are the future of this country, it was a pleasure to get #107 caps #eng,” added Cole on Twitter. He followed that up with this:
Former Arsenal defender Cole made his international debut against Albania in 2001 and has been an England regular ever since, starting every tournament game since his finals bow against Sweden at the 2002 World Cup.
Back in March, Hodgson said he understood he might have to disappoint a “big name” player when it came to selecting his squad for Brazil and Cole fits that bill. Now it appears that the 18-year-old Shaw is set for his first major tournament as an England player despite having just the one cap behind him.
Shaw, according to reports this evening, is the subject of a £27m bid from Manchester United. With Patrice Evra likely to leave the club in the summer, Shaw is seen as a long-term replacement at Old Trafford.
England will face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in the group stages of the World Cup which gets under way on June 12.
– Additional reporting by Patrick McCarry