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?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent