I'm never going to retire, pledges England star

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Ashley Cole has warned Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs he has no intention of simply stepping aside and allowing the youngster to take his England spot.

Cole will create history in Denmark tonight when he becomes the most-capped England full-back of all time. His 87th England appearance will eclipse the record of another former Arsenal man, Kenny Sansom, and the likelihood is Cole will crash through the century barrier at some stage next season.

"I'm never going to give up or retire," Cole told BBC Radio Five Live. "I want to win as many caps as I can. In the back of my mind I think I will break the record. But I don't want to stop here. I want to keep going and get more caps."

Barring a staggering change of selection policy by Fabio Capello, Cole will not only make his 87th appearance for England, he will also be starting his 87th game.

It is a quite remarkable record. One he is rightly proud of.

"It's probably unique," he acknowledged.

"I have missed a lot of games through injury so maybe I would have hit 90 by now. But to play for your country is a dream as a little kid and I am thankful to have done it so many times."


It seems the England fans are starting to be thankful of Cole too after the Chelsea star, who has never previously been a popular figure, collected the 2010 award for fans' player of the year.

That award seems a world away from the time as a six-year-old, growing up in a small London flat, when he broke his mum's favourite photo playing football inside.

"Not for one minute did I imagine I would win trophies, play for Chelsea, play for Arsenal and for England so many times," he added. "Every day is a joy but I am still very hungry for more trophies."

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