/ Soccer

Ashley Cole retires from international football after missing World Cup

Updated: Monday, 12 May 2014 11:12 | Comments

Ashley Cole (R) in action against Ireland's Seamus Coleman
Ashley Cole (R) in action against Ireland's Seamus Coleman

Ashley Cole has retired from international football after being left out of England's World Cup squad.

England manager Roy Hodgson called Cole on Sunday night to inform him that he would not be in his 23-man squad for the tournament in Brazil.

Everton's Leighton Baines and Southampton's 18-year-old Luke Shaw, who is reportedly the subject of a £27million offer from Manchester United, are expected to travel instead.

The Chelsea defender, who has 107 caps, took to Twitter to announce his retirement from the international arena.

Cole tweeted: "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."

He added: "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.

"Baines and 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 #honoured."

Cole made his international debut against Albania in 2001 and had been a regular in the England side since.

The 33-year-old has started every tournament game since making his finals bow in the 2002 World Cup against Sweden and he is the country's fifth most-capped player.

The former Arsenal defender has performed well for his country at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

But he was always going to find it hard to earn a place in Hodgson's World Cup squad after losing his first-team place at Chelsea to Cesar Azpilicueta, who normally operates at right-back.

And Shaw's emergence at Southampton finally put an end to Cole's World Cup dreams.

Cole will now have the entire summer to decide where his future lies.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho wants him to stay at Stamford Bridge, but Press Association Sport understands the Londoner is likely to leave.

Several clubs in Europe and the United States have expressed an interest in Cole, who moved to the west London club in 2006.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Live!
Powered by NewsWhip