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Top 20 England players of all time - #18

Sports Mole's countdown of the top 20 England players of all time continues with number 18 - Ashley Cole.

Ashley Cole (107 caps, no goals)

Ashley Cole of England runs with the ball during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group H match between England and Moldova at Wembley Stadium on September 6, 2013© Getty Images

With the likes of Steven Gerrard, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney garnering most of the limelight during England's so-called 'Golden Generation', Ashley Cole rarely made headlines for his ability on the field.

However, the left-back was arguably England's best and most consistent performer from that gifted bunch of players - even if the team itself failed to live up to expectations.

After making his debut in 2001, Cole went on to become England's most capped full-back and one of only nine players to have reached a century of appearances for the Three Lions, eventually retiring with 107 to his name - more than the likes of Billy Wright, Bobby Charlton and Frank Lampard.

Cole's omission from Roy Hodgson's squad for the 2014 World Cup ultimately spelled the end of his international career, but he had already featured in five major tournaments for his country, including the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

Cole was one of four England players named in the Team of the Tournament at Euro 2004 but, despite his attacking qualities and longevity in the England team, he never found the back of the net for his country and holds the dubious honour of being the most-capped outfield player to have not scored for England.

If trophies were lacking at international level, Cole more than made up for it on the club scene with three Premier League titles, a record seven FA Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League during his time with Arsenal and Chelsea.

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