Hodgson drops Ashley Cole

LONDON - Roy Hodgson has described leaving Ashley Cole out of his World Cup squad as "one of the hardest decisions of my career," after breaking the news in a telephone call that prompted the defender to announce his retirement from international football.

Cole informed the England manager he had no intention of going on the standby list after losing his place to the 18-year-old Luke Shaw in a 23-man squad that will also feature Ross Barkley instead of Michael Carrick, placing a heavy emphasis on younger players.

Cole's 107 caps put him fifth in England's all-time appearances list but Hodgson told the 33-year-old he was preparing a squad that also had the 2016 European Championship in mind and planned to use Leighton Baines as his first-choice left-back, with Shaw in reserve because of his outstanding performances for Southampton.

"I got the call from Roy and agree the England team should be about the young players," Cole said. "I think it best I retire from [the] England team now. We have a great manager and team and I wish them only success. I will be supporting them like a true fan. Thanks to everyone for everything. Baines and Shaw are great players, [as] proved this season, and are the future of this country. It was a pleasure to get 107 caps."

Hodgson described Cole as "an incredible competitor for England".

"Among many difficult decisions I've had to make for my squad, not selecting Ashley was one of the hardest," Hodgson said. "To amass over a century of caps is a truly staggering achievement and he deserves enormous credit for the desire and brilliance which has shone through over the years he has represented his country. There are few players who can be considered among the very best in the world, but Ashley in his prime was the best left-back without question."

England squad

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Fraser Forster, Ben Foster

Defenders: Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Chris Smalling, Leighton Baines, Luke Shaw

Midfielders: Steven Gerrard, Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Ross Barkley, Adam Lallana, Raheem Sterling, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Strikers: Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Rickie Lambert

Comments (1)

Team iyi ka, game no

Godza - 16 May 2014

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