Roy Hodgson confirmed that he will start with Ashley Cole at left-back for England's friendly with Brazil at Wembley this evening.

That means the Chelsea defender will earn his 100th international cap, joining an esteemed group of only six other men to pull on the England shirt 100 times or more.

Steven Gerrard is one member of that exclusive club, and the Liverpool skipper has nothing but praise for his club rival and international ally.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Gerrard said: "I look at the players that I've played with throughout my career and he's certainly been the most consistent player." 

High praise indeed from a man who has operated at the top of world football for more than a decade.

And although Cole is the wrong side of 30 and coming under increasing pressure from Leighton Baines for the left-back slot, Gerrard believes there is no doubt that the ex-Arsenal defender remains at the top of his game.

"I think he's proved he's one of the best left-backs in the world," continued Gerrard.

There was even more praise from the Liverpool ranks, as Glen Johnson pointed out another achievement that makes Cole's milestone all the more impressive. 

Johnson stated: "He started his 99 caps. If that doesn't tell a story I don't know what does."

Ahead of tonight's friendly encounter, Gerrard praised the FA for staging such a significant friendly, stating his belief that the encounter will prove to be good preparation ahead of England's upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

"It's exciting times," he proclaimed. "I think the FA has produced some fantastic fixtures for us players and certainly ones that will whet the appetite.

"We start against Brazil, I know it's a friendly but we want to win this game and go into the important qualifiers in March in good form."


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