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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project