Cole ready to call time on career

As Chelsea ace ponders retirement after Mourinho snub

Chelsea and England star Ashley Cole is considering retiring at the end of the season after being frozen out at Stamford Bridge by Jose Mourinho.

Cole is attracted by the prospect of ending a glittering 14-year career at the top by playing in next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

The 33-year-old will make history by becoming the first Englishman to play in four World Cup finals – a fitting way to hang up his boots having won a clean sweep of trophies with Arsenal and Chelsea  – and more than 100 caps for his country.

Cole is widely regarded as the country’s best-ever left-back but has struggled to keep a place in Chelsea’s line-up this season under Mourinho.

In recent weeks, he has suffered the humiliation of seeing his place taken by unsung Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta.

The Chelsea manager has already told Cole he will be on the bench for Monday night’s Premier League clash against his former club Arsenal.

The defender will stay at Chelsea for the remaining six months of his £170,000-a-week contract despite fuming at his recent treatment by Mourinho. He believes he will be taken to Brazil by England manager Roy Hodgson regardless of how many games he gets for his club. 

Out of favour: The Chelsea defender has lost his place in the team to unfancied Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta
Out of favour: The Chelsea defender has lost his place in the team to unfancied Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta


Famous faces: Cole watches on from the bench alongside Frank Lampard
Former glories: Cole was a winner with Arsenal before he signed for Chelsea

Are you sitting comfortably? Cole with Frank Lampard, and right, celebrating Arsenal’s 2003 FA Cup triumph


Longer term, he is reluctant to sign a new deal to become a bit-part player, with Chelsea having already achieved so much. The option of joining Spurs or Liverpool does not appeal and even the prospect of a year in the sun with an MLS club in America is not particularly enticing.He already has an estimated fortune of £25million.

Although Cole has not made up his mind, friends say he is close to accepting he would prefer to quit at the top rather than struggling on.

Joining the party: Cole gatecrashed Arsenal's Xmas bash earlier this week after Chelsea's was cancelled
Joining the party: Cole gatecrashed Arsenal’s Xmas bash earlier this week after Chelsea’s was cancelledCole has already become one of the most successful English players of all-time having won three Premier League titles, a record seven FA Cups, a League Cup, Champions League and Europa League with Arsenal and Chelsea. He has won 106 England caps, putting him joint-fifth with Sir Bobby Charlton in the all-time list.

As well as playing at the World Cup in 2002, 2006 and 2010, he also enjoyed a legendary duel with Cristiano Ronaldo at Euro 2004. But Mourinho was unhappy at Cole being photographed in the same nightclub as Arsenal players last week, saying: ‘It was a free day for them, so I’m not a father. I’m a manager.

‘I can control what they do when they are with me. I cannot control what they do when they are not with me.’ Chelsea would like Cole to stay next season.




Source : Daily mail

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