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Ashley Cole (born 20 December 1980 in Stepneymarker, Londonmarker) is an Englishmarker professional footballer, currently playing for Chelsea in the Premier League and the English national team. He plays as a left-back.

Cole began his career with Arsenal in 1999, going on to make 228 appearances, scoring 9 goals for the club, and winning two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and a runners-up medal from the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final. In August 2006, after a protected transfer saga, he completed the move to rival club Chelsea in exchange for £5m plus defender William Gallas. Cole is a regular in the Chelsea first-team and won a second Champions League runners-up medal in 2008.

Club career

Arsenal

Cole started his career by joining his local club, Arsenal, whom he had supported as a child. On 25 February 2000 he signed his first professional contract. At the age of 18, on 30 November 1999, he made his first team debut in the Worthington Cup against Middlesbrough. His Premier League debut came on 14 May 2000 against Newcastle United. Before he fully broke into the Arsenal side, he spent part of the 1999-2000 season on loan at Crystal Palace, where he played 14 league matches and scored one goal, a long-range half-volley against Blackburn Roversmarker. Cole caught a lucky break after an injury to Sylvinho, Arsenal's established left-back, in the autumn if the 2000-2001 season, gave Cole the opportunity to establish himself in the first team. He remained first-choice in the position even after Sylvinho's recovery.

With Arsenal, he won the Premier League twice (in 2002 and 2004), and the FA Cup three times (in 2002, 2003 and 2005, scoring in the penalty shootout in the final of the latter). Although injured for much of the 2005-06 season, he recovered in time to play in Arsenal's UEFA Champions League Final defeat to Barcelona at the end of the season. In total he made 228 first-team appearances for Arsenal, scoring 9 goals.

Cole had a very good season in 2004-05. He was a regular at left-back for both England and Arsenal despite Gael Clichy's claim for a place in the first team squad. Cole scored his first goal of the season in the seventh game in a tough trip to Manchester City which he scored the opening and only goal to give Arsenal an important win. He scored his second goal in a 3-1 away win to Aston Villa. He scored Arsenal's third in only the 28th minute. Cole, however, was also involved in the transfer saga with Chelsea. Cole was found guilty of making contact with league rivals Chelsea over a possible move, without informing Arsenal. He was fined £100,000 by the Premier League on 2 June 2005 for a tapping-up meeting at a hotel in January 2005. Cole, his agent Jonathan Barnett, the Chelsea manager José Mourinho and chief executive Peter Kenyon were present at the meeting. An appeal in August 2005 did not reject the guilty verdict, but his fine was reduced to £75,000. Chelsea were also fined £300,000 and Mourinho was fined £200,000, reduced on appeal in August 2005 to £75,000. Barnett's licence was suspended for 18 months and he was also fined £100,000.

On 18 July 2005, Cole signed a one-year extension to his contract with Aresenal, but just a year later departed from the club in acrimonious circumstances. On 15 July 2006, Cole launched a verbal attack on Arsenal; in his autobiography, quoted in The Sun, he claimed that the Arsenal board had treated him as a "scapegoat" and that they had "fed him to the sharks" over the tapping-up affair, disregarding the fact that Cole himself could have avoided the situation by vetoing the meeting, and the fact that Arsenal were legally obliged to punish Cole for his illegal courting of Chelsea. Cole was deliberately left out of Arsenal's 2006–07 team photograph, fuelling press speculation that he would leave.

On 28 July, Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein confirmed that Arsenal and Chelsea had been in "civil talks" about the player. Chelsea insisted they would not raise their £16million bid for Cole, but Arsenal held out for at a higher valuation of £25million. Negotiations continued throughout August and looked to be heading for deadlock, but eventually Cole signed for Chelsea on 31 August for a fee of £5million, with William Gallas being transferred from Chelsea to Arsenal as part of the same deal. The deal was closed after the transfer window had officially ended, and was not confirmed until an hour and a half after the deadline had passed.

Chelsea

Cole was given the number three shirt at Chelsea, and made his first appearance for the club as a substitute for Wayne Bridge in their 2–1 win over Charlton Athletic on 9 September. He also issued a public statement deemed "staggering in both its arrogance and ignorance", saying he "forgave" Arsenal for how he felt he was treated during his time there. However, he was not forgiven by Arsenal's fans, as they dubbed him "Cashley" and waved fake £20 notes with his face when Chelsea met Arsenal at Stamford Bridgemarker on 12 December.

On 31 January 2007, Cole suffered a serious knee injury in the 3–0 victory over Blackburn Roversmarker in a Premier League game at Stamford Bridgemarker, although after a scan it was revealed to be not as bad as first thought, with Chelsea optimistic that he would return before the end of the 2006–07 season. Cole did indeed make a return at the end of the season, playing in the last twelve minutes of the 2007 FA Cup Final at the new Wembley Stadium against Manchester United. Chelsea emerged triumphant, 1-0 after extra-time with a goal scored by Didier Drogba, to win the 2007 FA Cup.

In, Cole was reportedly one of the players upset when Jose Mourinho was relieved of his position as Chelsea manager. He was dropped in favour of Wayne Bridge for the 2008 League Cup final, which Chelsea lost 2-1 to Spurs. However, Cole scored his first Chelsea goal in Chelsea's very next game, on 1 March 2008, the fourth goal in a 4-0 away victory against West Ham. On 19 March 2008, Cole was involved in a controversial incident in a Premier League game against Tottenham at White Hart Lanemarker where he performed a dangerous high tackle on Tottenham's Alan Hutton. Although it is a widely held view that Cole should have received a red card, referee Mike Riley gave Cole a yellow card. Moreover, Cole caused even more disgust as he turned his back on the referee and shouted abuse before receiving the card, sparking not only more outrage at Cole's continuing insubordinate behaviour, but also debate within the sports media over the game's rules on dissent towards officials.

In Chelsea's final league match of the 2008-09 season against Sunderland at the Stadium of Lightmarker, Cole scored his second Chelsea goal in the Blues' 3-2 win. The following season, after starting Chelsea's first six games in the league, Cole scored his third and fourth Chelsea goals at home to Burnley and Tottenham. On 2 September 2009 he signed a new four-year deal which will contract him to Chelsea until 2013.

International career

Cole has played for England at youth and senior levels. He was capped for the England U-20 team at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship alongside Stuart Taylor, Peter Crouch, Andrew Johnson and Matthew Etherington. However, the team finished bottom of their group, suffering three defeats without scoring any goals. He also made four appearances for England under-21s, scoring once.

Cole made his senior England début against Albania, on 28 March 2001. He played for England at the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, and was named as one of four England players in the all-star squad for the latter tournament. Cole was also an ever-present for England in the 2006 World Cup; in their second round match against Ecuador he made a crucial block, deflecting Carlos Tenorio's shot onto the crossbar. The match ended with England winning 1–0, but England were knocked out on penalties by Portugal in the quarter-finals. By the end of 2008, Cole had achieved 68 caps for England, all of which were starting appearances.

Career statistics

As of 13 October 2009




Honours

Club

Arsenal F.C.
Chelsea F.C.


International

England National Football Team


Individual



Personal life

His father, Ron Callender, is from Barbadosmarker but left the family seven years after his parents had married.His father later moved to Melbournemarker.Ashley and his younger brother Matthew were brought up by his white mother Sue Cole.

Since 15 July 2006, he has been married to Girls Aloudsinger Cheryl Cole. They have been together since September 2004. In January 2008, the couple almost separated after allegations were made that Cole had affairs with three other women; however he disputes the allegations, and has stayed with Cheryl.

In 2006, Cole sued the News of the Worldand The Sunnewspapers for libelafter they printed allegations that he was "a raging queer". Both the News of the Worldand The Sunlater retracted the allegations. That same year, Cole released an autobiography titled, My Defence, which sold only 4,000 copies in the first six weeks of release. Cole's former teammate, Jens Lehmann, criticised Cole for writing an autobiography when he was only 25. While researching for his autobiography, Cole discovered he is a distant cousin of American R&B singer Mariah Carey.

On 4 March 2009, Cole was held after swearing in front of a police officer outside a Central London nightclub. Police said a 28-year-old man was held in Brompton Road, South Kensingtonmarker, at about 02:15 GMT.He was taken to a police stationand given an £80 fixed penalty, which he could not afford to pay, and released at about 05:30 GMT on the same day.

References

  1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/eng_prem/8222096.stm| title=Chelsea 3-0 Burnley
  2. He also won the FA Cup for the fifth time which is a world record.


External links



1999-00 Crystal Palace First Division 14 1 - - 14 1
1999-00 Arsenal Premier League 1 0 1 0 - 2 0
2000-01 17 3 7 0 - 24 3
2001-02 20 2 4 0 4 0 28 2
2002-03 31 1 3 0 9 0 43 1
2003-04 32 0 4 0 9 1 45 1
2004-05 35 2 3 0 8 0 46 2
2005-06 11 0 0 0 3 0 14 0
2006-07 Chelsea Premier League 21 0 5 0 9 0 37 0
2007-08 27 1 1 0 10 0 38 1
2008-09 33 1 4 0 4 0 42 1
2009-10 8 2 0 0 2 0 10 2

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