Current club: Chelsea
Ashley is one of the world’s top left-backs. A Londoner, he began with Arsenal and made 14 Division One appearances on loan at Crystal Palace before achieving a regular slot in the Gunners’ defence in 2000-01, scoring three goals in 17 Premier League games.
After just four appearances for the Under-21s, Ashley was fast-tracked into the England senior team and Sven-Goran Eriksson handed him his debut in a FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Albania in Tirana on 28 March 2001.
He kept his place for the next six internationals and went on to be an ever-present in the 2002 World Cup in the Far East. He repeated the feat at the Euro 2004 Finals in Portugal, being one of four England players voted into the ‘All-Star Squad’ for the tournament, and at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where he made a memorable block to deny Carlos Tenorio in the Second Round tie with Ecuador.
He reached his 75th England appearance in a Wembley friendly against Slovenia in September 2009. He won his 86th cap against Montenegro in October 2010, and alongside Kenny Sansom, Cole is now England’s most-capped full-back in history
, an achievement which helped him pick up the England Player of the Year award for 2010
, as voted for by fans.
After winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with Arsenal, he moved to Chelsea in search of more success. He has won The FA Cup five times with the Blues, his eight wins overall a Cup record.
In fact he helped Chelsea to an FA Cup and Premier League double in 2010 and also to The FA Cup and Champions League Finals in 2012.