Ashley Cole reached 99 England caps in 2012, and all came as a starter
Ashley Cole ended a very successful 2012, during which he won the Champions League and FA Cup with Chelsea, on the brink of becoming the seventh player in history to be capped 100 times for England.
His six appearances in the year took him up to 99, the last of those coming in October’s World Cup Qualifier in Poland.
England’s most-capped full-back is also one of our greatest ever tournament players, having been an ever-present in three World Cups (2002, 2006 and 2010) and two European Championships (2004 and 2012). That’s 22 matches out of 22.
He had missed three internationals before featuring in England’s last friendly ahead of this summer’s Euros, a 1-0 win against Belgium at Wembley.
His fine sliding block prevented Romelu Lukaku from testing Joe Hart.
The Kiev quarter-final with Italy was Ashley’s 98th international and he still hadn’t scored – but he had the bottle to take a penalty in the shootout.
Unfortunately for England, Buffon pushed his effort away.
At club level he has won more FA Cup Finals than any other player in history, guaranteeing his place in all the record books. He has picked up three winners’ medals with Arsenal and four with Chelsea.
As well as the Champions League he has won three Premier League titles and one League Cup.
One of the world’s best left-backs, he was voted by the fans as England’s Player of the Year in 2010 and commented: “I hope I can carry on keep getting caps and playing well for England.
"Hopefully trying to win something for England and progress further than we have in the past”.
Ashley Cole's Opta Stats
- Ashley became England’s most capped full-back in February 2012 and is now just one away from a century of international appearances.
- The Three Lions remained unbeaten in all six games Ashley played in 2012, winning three and drawing three.
- The Chelsea left back won possession with eleven of his 14 attempted tackles for England in this calendar year.
-All 99 of Ashley England caps to date have come as a starter.
- The full-back took his tally of appearances at World Cups and European Championships to 22 at Euro 2012, a record for England players.
- Despite playing every minute for England at Euro 2012, Cole only conceded one foul.
Cole along with Steven Gerrard, Joe Hart, Glen Johnson and Danny Welbeck are all in the hunt this year and it's up to you which star will claim the 2012 England Player of the Year award at the inaugural FA England Awards in association with Vauxhall at St. George's Park on Sunday 3 February 2013.
Place your vote in the poll below before the closing date of 13 January 2013. You can also vote for the England Men's Under-21s and Women's Senior Players of the Year, too.