Ex-Arsenal, Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole inducted in Premier League Hall of Fame

London: Former Arsenal and Chelsea defender, widely regarded as the best left-back in Premier League history, has been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.

The former England international, widely regarded as the best left-back in Premier League history, won three league titles during a 15-season career at Arsenal and Chelsea, combining attacking prowess with formidable defensive qualities to become one of the greatest defenders the competition has ever seen.

Cole became the 22nd player and manager, the eighth former Arsenal alumni and the fourth from Chelsea, to be inducted in the Hall of Fame.

He was part of the record-breaking “Invincibles” Arsenal team who went unbeaten through the 2003/04 season, He made 385 Premier League appearances in total, contributed to 147 clean sheets, scored 15 goals and made 31 assists, according to Premier League website.

‘I’m honoured to join the Premier League Hall of Fame. It’s humbling and fulfilling to be rewarded at the end of your career. I went through my 20-year career span just trying to give my best and be good enough. You take it day by day and game by game. As a young kid, you never dream of any of this and you just do it for the love of the game of football,” Cole said in a statement.

“I played for some fantastic clubs with incredible fans. Winning trophies with my boyhood club Arsenal and with Chelsea are amazing memories that will always be with me.

“It’s emotional to reflect because a lot of hard work has been put in and to be put alongside the likes of Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba and Rio Ferdinand, I’m privileged to be in their company,” he added.

He was part of an Arsenal side that clinched the league title in 2001/02 as part of a domestic double, and two seasons later he was involved in 32 of the 38 games we went unbeaten in during the league campaign.

Cole moved on to Chelsea in 2006 where he would win one more league title in 2009/10, before stints at Roma, LA Galaxy and Derby County. He also represented England 107 times across 13 years.

His time at Chelsea also saw Cole claim a record seventh FA Cup winner’s medal – four of which came at Chelsea – as well as playing a key role in our maiden Champions League triumph in 2012. – IANS

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