Ashley Cole announces retirement, plans move into coaching
LONDON (AP) — Former England defender Ashley Cole is planning a move into coaching after announcing his retirement from soccer.
Cole won 13 major titles during his 20-year career, including the 2012 Champions League with Chelsea, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups.
The 38-year-old Cole, who also won 107 caps for England, announced his retirement Sunday while working as a pundit on British broadcaster Sky Sports.
“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.”
Cole said he was most proud of his haul of England caps. Only Peter Shilton, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Bobby Moore have made more appearances for the country.
Cole began his career with Arsenal and, after a brief loan spell at Crystal Palace, went on to make more than 200 appearances for the Gunners, lifting the FA Cup three times and winning the Premier League twice. He was a member of the “Invincibles” team which went through the 2003-04 Premier League season unbeaten.
He left the club in acrimonious circumstances in 2006 and was fined 100,000 pounds — later reduced to 75,000 pounds on appeal — for his part in an illegal approach from Chelsea in 2005, the club he would join the following year.
Cole won the FA Cup in his first season at Stamford Bridge and four times in total and also won the Premier League in 2010 and the Champions League in 2012, scoring in the penalty shootout as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich.
After leaving Chelsea in 2014, Cole had spells with Roma and LA Galaxy before ending his playing career under former Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard at Derby in England’s second tier.