Former English player Joe Cole, who played for West Ham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Lille, Aston Villa, Coventry City and also won 56 caps for England between 2001 and 2010 announced his retirement today Nov 13th, describing his 20-year career as ‘a dream come true.
His retirement comes after a two-and-a-half year spell in America with United Soccer League outfit the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
While describing his 20th year professional career games, he said
There are key moments in every professional’s career,’ Cole continued in his statement. ‘One of mine came when I was a young West Ham player.
‘A senior pro, who was nearing his own retirement, said to me: “Enjoy every game, young man. It goes by in the blink of an eye and you’ll miss it badly after it’s gone.”
‘As a fan, I loved watching wholehearted, skilful players and this is what inspired me. I remembered what was special for me when I was sitting in the stands watching games and I tried to replicate this. I hope I was able to do this for some of the fans and people who have watched my games over the years.
‘Winning trophies at Chelsea was particularly special for me. Those memories will live with me forever, as will the chance I had to share them with my family. My wife, Carly, and our three amazing children, my Dad, George, my Mum, Susan, are what I’m most proud of.
‘Looking to the future, I want to stay involved in the game. I feel I can offer a lot as a coach and have really enjoyed the opportunity to undertake some of these duties with the Rowdies. To lend my experience to help other young footballers achieve their dreams, just like I did, is a big passion of mine.
‘Whatever is next, I hope the next two decades are as special as my last 20 years as a professional have been. Again, a huge thanks to everyone who helped me along that path.’
Joe Cole won three Premier League titles, two FA Cups, a League Cup and reached the final of the Champions League in 2006.