England v Republic of Ireland
8pm, Wednesday 29 May 2013
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will captain England at Wembley Stadium tonight in celebration of 100 appearances for the Three Lions.
In February against Brazil
, after 12 years as an international, Cole became only the seventh player to join the illustrious list of England centurions. He’ll be honoured for his magnificent achievement with a commemorative England cap before the meeting with Republic of Ireland.
In his 101 England appearances to date, the Chelsea left-back has faced some of the world’s biggest nations and best players, while himself becoming recognised as one of game’s true greats.
However, a modest professional, he’s only interested in what he needs to do on the pitch to ensure his team are successful. When asked about his most memorable game, he thinks back to match number ten, at the 2002 World Cup.
“I have a few games I'll never forget,” he says in the official England v Republic of Ireland matchday programme.
“Argentina was one of my favourites, to beat them on such a big occasion and to play against world-class players like [Gabriel] Batistuta, [Javier] Zanetti and [Ariel] Ortega was unbelievable.
"These are the guys that I'd watched growing up and I thought they were amazing. So to get the chance to play against them in a World Cup was a dream come true.”
He adds: “I look at who my opponent is and they may be saying that about me, but I'm definitely saying it about them.
"I don't really think about those things though and I just try to get my head around the game and what I have to do, rather than if they are thinking about me.”
Read the full Ashley Cole interview in the official England v Republic of Ireland programme, available to purchase for £6 at the game or online at TheFA.com/programmes or via the Apple Newstand.