Cole retires from England duty
Ashley Cole has retired from international football after being left out of England's World Cup squad.
- Related Content
England manager Roy Hodgson called Cole on Sunday night to inform him that he would not be in his 23-man squad for the tournament in Brazil.
The Chelsea defender, who has 107 caps, then took to Twitter to announce his retirement from the international arena.
Cole tweeted: "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."
Cole made his international debut against Albania in 2001 and had been a regular in the England side since.
The 33-year-old has started every tournament game since making his finals bow in the 2002 World Cup against Sweden and he is the country's fifth most-capped player.
The former Arsenal defender has performed well for his country at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
But he was always going to find it hard to earn a place in Hodgson's World Cup squad after losing his first-team place at Chelsea to Cesar Azpilicueta, who normally operates at right-back.
Luke Shaw's emergence at Southampton finally put an end to Cole's World Cup dreams.
Cole will now have the entire summer to decide where his future lies.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho wants him to stay at Stamford Bridge, but Press Association Sport understands the Londoner, who cried following the club's final home game of the season, is likely to leave.
Several clubs in Europe and the United States have expressed an interest in Cole, who moved to the west London club in 2006.
Cole's exclusion means Shaw is included in Hodgson's 23-man party for South America.
Shaw has only made the left-back position at Saints his own this year, but the defender has been so impressive that he was voted into the PFA team of the year by his peers last month.
Ashley Cole Factfile
1980: December 20 - Born in Stepney, London.
1999: November - Makes Arsenal debut in League Cup match against Middlesbrough.
2000: May - Handed a Premier League debut against Newcastle before being sent on loan to Crystal Palace..
August - Makes England Under-21 debut against Georgia.
2001: March - Makes England senior debut in World Cup qualifier against Albania after just four Under-21 caps.
2002: First-choice left-back as the Gunners win the Premier League and FA Cup double. Named in England 2002 World Cup squad and is an ever-present in Japan and South Korea.
2003: Wins second FA Cup with Arsenal.
2004: Key part of the legendary 'Invincibles' side that win the Premier League in an unbeaten season. Plays every game of England's Euro 2004 campaign in Portugal and named in the team of the tournament.
2005: May - Claims his third FA Cup winner's medal, scoring a penalty in the shoot-out victory over Manchester United.
June - Fined by the FA for his involvement in transfer talks with Chelsea which had not been sanctioned by Arsenal.
2006 - May: Plays full 90 minutes in the 2-1 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona. Ever-present in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
August: Signs for Chelsea in a cash-plus-player deal involving William Gallas.
September 9: Debuts for Chelsea as a replacement for Wayne Bridge in 2-1 win over Charlton.
2007 - May: Recovers sufficiently from a knee injury to play the last 12 minutes of extra time as Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Cup final.
2008: March - Scores first goal for the Blues at West Ham. Issues an apology to Tottenham's Alan Hutton for a bad tackle and to referee Mike Riley for his reaction to the subsequent booking.
May: Plays in his second Champions League final, again on the losing side as Chelsea go down on penalties to United despite Cole scoring his spot-kick.
2009: May - Wins fifth FA Cup medal as Blues defeat Everton 2-1. Named Chelsea's player of the year for the 2008/09 season.
2010 - May: Wins a then record sixth FA Cup medal as Blues see off Portsmouth 1-0. Chelsea also pip Manchester United to the Premier League title to give Cole the second double of his career. Named England's player of the year by fans.
2011 - February: Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti admits Cole "made a mistake" and "stepped over the line" following media reports he shot an air rifle towards a club intern.
September: Makes his 87th England appearance against Denmark to become his country's most capped full-back ahead of Kenny Sansom.
2012 - May: Continues his proud tradition in the FA Cup with a record seventh final success, a 2-1 win over Liverpool. Wins the Champions League at the third time of asking as Chelsea defeat Bayern Munich on penalties. Scores in the shoot-out.
June: Misses in shoot-out as England lose European Championship quarter-final to Italy.
October 5: Uncertainty over Cole's testimony in John Terry's disciplinary hearing is cited by independent FA regulatory commission in written explanation for the Chelsea captain's four-match ban and fine. Cole attacks the FA in a foul-mouthed rant on Twitter, for which he quickly apologises.
October 8: Charged with misconduct by the FA in relation to his Twitter comment.
October 18: Fined £90,000 by the FA for the misconduct offence.
2013 - January 22: Chelsea confirm that Cole had signed a one-year contract extension. His deal was due to run out in the summer.
February 6: Wins his 100th cap for England in the friendly against Brazil.
May 15: Wins the Europa League with Chelsea, who beat Benfica 2-1 in the final in Amsterdam.
May 29: Captains England in the international friendly against the Republic of Ireland in celebration of his 100 caps.
2014: May 11 - Makes what could be his last Chelsea appearance, in a 2-1 win over Cardiff, and is later understood to have been informed of his omission from England's World Cup squad.