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Chelsea legend Ashley Cole announces retirement, targets coaching as next chapter

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Legend

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Final - Bayern Munich v Chelsea - Allianz Arena Photo by Adam Davy - PA Images via Getty Images

Chelsea and England legend Ashley Cole, three-time winner of the Premier League and the best left back of his generation, if not every generation, announced his retirement earlier today during an appearance on Sky Sports, bringing to an end his stellar 20-year playing career.

“After hard consideration, it’s time to hang my boots up and look towards my next chapter, which will hopefully be coaching.”

“[It’s been] incredible. As a young kid, I never expected to play one game or be a professional. Looking back, to be able to say I played in World Cups, Champions League finals, being lucky enough to lift Premier League titles - it’s a young kid’s dream. I fulfilled my dream and now I look to the future, hopefully as a great coach.”

-Ashley Cole; source: Sky

During his 8-year career at Chelsea, Ash won every major European and domestic trophy, including the 2012 Champions League, in which he also scored a penalty in the deciding shootout. Combined with his years at Arsenal, Ash won the FA Cup an astounding 7 times.

After leaving Chelsea in 2013, he tried his luck, unsuccessfully, in Italy with AS Roma, then found success in MLS with LA Galaxy for three seasons, before returning to England for the second-half of last season with Frank Lampard’s Derby County. He joined Chelsea’s Tour of Japan as an ambassador for the club and Yokohama, and was rumored to be joining Lampard’s staff at Chelsea as well. That has not happened yet, but surely it’s just a matter of time before Ash also comes home.

Thanks for everything, and good luck in the future, Legend!