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.

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
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

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?