Joe Cole announces retirement after 20 years as professional

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Joe Cole has announced his retirement after 20 years as a professional footballer.

The 37-year-old, who won 56 caps for England and scored 10 goals for his country, was last playing for the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the USA.

Cole played over 50 times for England, featuring at four major tournaments
Cole played over 50 times for England, featuring at four major tournaments

After announcing his decision, he said: “After 20 years as a professional, the time has come for me to hang up my boots. It has been a dream come true. All of it.

“My favourite thing about being a professional footballer was the feeling you enjoy after coming back into the dressing room after a win. It will be difficult to replicate that but I’ll always remember all of my former team-mates who I shared that experience with.

“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have played with some of the very best players of my era and even more fortunate to call a lot of them friends.

“As a fan, I loved watching wholehearted, skilful players and this is what inspired me. I remembered what was special for me when I was sitting in the stands watching games and I tried to replicate this.

“I hope I was able to do this for some of the fans and people who have watched my games over the years.

“Winning trophies at Chelsea was particularly special for me. Those memories will live with me forever, as will the chance I had to share them with my family.”

After calling time on a career in which he won three Premier League titles and two FA Cups – all with Chelsea – Cole said he wanted to move into coaching.

“Looking to the future, I want to stay involved in the game,” he said. “I feel I can offer a lot as a coach and have really enjoyed the opportunity to undertake some of these duties with the Rowdies.

Cole spent more time at Chelsea than any other club, playing 280 times and scoring 40 goals
Cole spent more time at Chelsea than any other club, playing 280 times and scoring 40 goals

“To lend my experience to help other young footballers achieve their dreams, just like I did, is a big passion of mine.”

Cole ends his career having played over 700 matches and scored over 100 goals.

He began his career at West Ham United, before moving to Chelsea. After seven years at Stamford Bridge, he went on to play for Liverpool, Lille, Aston Villa, Coventry City and then Tampa Bay.

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