Jose Mourinho hails centurion Ashley Cole

Ashley Cole taking a throw
© PA Photos
Jose Mourinho backs Ashley Cole to continue for at least another four years as he approaches his 100th appearance for England.

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has praised Ashley Cole ahead of the full-back's 100th cap for England.

Manager Roy Hodgson confirmed yesterday afternoon that the Chelsea defender would start against Brazil at Wembley Stadium tonight, thus taking his appearance numbers for the Three Lions into three figures.

Having worked with Cole during his time in charge of the Blues, Mourinho has insisted that there is no reason why the 32-year-old cannot continue playing at the highest level for another "four to five years".

"The brain controls, but the body needs to answer to the brain," said Mourinho. "His brain gives him, for sure, four to five years at a high level. I hope his body says yes.

"Ash is one of the best left-backs in the world. He is the kind of player who it is difficult to choose his best performance, because he is always so stable.

"I left England in 2007. At that time he was the best. Six years later he is still the best. He has won everything at club level and is getting his 100th cap. I believe the football world in England knows who he is."

Cole made his debut for England against Albania back in 2001.

Roy Hodgson watches on
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1Chelsea25193352183460
2Manchester CityMan City25164551292252
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs25148346182850
4Arsenal25155554282650
5Liverpool25147454302449
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd25139338211748
7Everton25118640271341
8West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2510783431337
9Stoke CityStoke258893036-632
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2595113443-932
11Southampton2586112831-330
12Burnley2593132736-930
13Watford2586112942-1330
14Bournemouth2575133549-1426
15Swansea CitySwansea2573153154-2324
16Middlesbrough25410111927-822
17Leicester CityLeicester2556142443-1921
18Hull City2555152249-2720
19Crystal Palace2554163246-1419
20Sunderland2554162446-2219