Ashley Cole: 99 caps but not a single England goal to his name...

...Chelsea left-back has one final chance to find the back of the net to avoid joining a very exclusive club

Ashley Cole will earn his 100th international cap when England face Brazil at Wembley tonight, but the magic 100-club is not the only exclusive club that the defender will join.

Should Cole fail to score, he will become just the second outfield player in history to reach a century of caps for a top 20 ranked country to have never scored.

Out of 67 players to have reached 100 caps, only Sweden’s Bjorn Nordqvist failed to score, with his 115th and final international appearance coming in 1978.

Nordqvist played 115 times without finding the back of the net, so Cole still has a chance to score before he overtakes the Swede. However, the Chelsea left-back is not known for his prolific goalscoring record for his club, having netted just seven goals for the Blues – all of them coming in the league.

Having scored nine goals for former club Arsenal – with one coming in a Champions League tie, the possibility that he will get off the mark tonight is not a crazy one, but it is more than likely that Cole will reach the 100 mark with a big zero next to his name in the goals scored column. He is priced at 19/1 with bookmakers to get on the scoresheet and 40/1 to be the opening goalscorer against Brazil.

Of course, England’s most capped player remains Peter Shilton, and although the goalkeeper didn’t score for his country, he still managed to get his goal tally off the mark against Southampton while playing for Leicester City.

There is some who feel that Cole should no longer be first-choice in the left-back role for Roy Hodgson’s side, with the ever improving Leighton Baines breathing heavily down Cole’s neck. With Baines’ set-piece ability, he certainly is a more attacking option, having already scored for the Three Lions in just 13 appearances.

However, Cole has established himself as one of the leading left-backs in the world, and the achievements to his name certainly back up that argument. Three Premier League trophies – two of those with Arsenal which includes ‘The Invincibles’ season – seven FA Cup’s, a League Cup and the famous Champions League victory with Chelsea last season leaves Cole as one of the most successful Englishmen to have played the game.

And although he may receive a mixed reception when he runs out tonight, there is no doubting that fans will let him off if he never scores for England, as long as he demonstrates the same commitment and skill that he has done in each of his 99 previous caps.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Floyd Mayweather will relinquish his five world titles after beating Manny Pacquiao
boxing
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living