Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has been left out of England's World Cup squad, as Luke Shaw and Leighton Baines made the squad that will travel to Brazil at the end of the month.
Cole, who has made 107 international caps, stated on Twitter: “I got the call from Roy and agree England team should be about the young players. I think it best I retire from England team now.”
He added: “Like me or not, trust me it’s hurt me to stop playing for my country #Proud #Honoured”
Often regarded as one of the world’s left-backs, Cole turned down the chance to be on the stand-by list-which will instead home Liverpool’s Jon Flanagan, who is yet to make his full cap.
However, is this right? Should you ever turn your back on the opportunity to play for your country?
Although Cole has not played a great deal this season, his class still came shining through in Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final tie with Atletico Madrid and now a host of clubs including Real Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester City interested in signing him-after what is assumed to be his last game for Chelsea against Cardiff City yesterday.
While it can be argued that Cole should have made Hodgson’s 23-man squad, his decision to take no part in the tournament is a real shame as he clearly still has the ability to make a difference at the top level, and with injuries almost guaranteed, who else better to call up in your hour of need.
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