Ashley Cole is an English left back of Barbadian descent. He started his career at his local club Arsenal as a teenager and in 2000 signed as a professional, playing as a striker at the beginning. Before he fully broke into the Arsenal side, he spent part of the 1999.2000 season on loan at Crystal Palace, where he played 14 league matches and scored one goal.
After an injury to Sylvinho, Arsenal's established Brazilian left-back, in autumn 2000, Cole came on as his replacement, and remained first-choice even after Sylvinho's recovery. In total he made 228 first-team appearances for Arsenal, scoring 9 goals. In the summer of 2006, Cole signed for Chelsea for a fee of £5 million, with William Gallas also going the other way. Cole made his first appearance for the club as a substitute for Wayne Bridge in their 2.1 win over Charlton Athletic on 9 September.
On 31 January 2007, Cole suffered a serious knee injury in the 3.0 victory over Blackburn Rovers in a Premier League game at Stamford Bridge, although after a scan it was revealed to be not as bad as first thought, with Chelsea optimistic that he would return before the end of the 2006.07 season. Cole did indeed make a return at the end of the season, playing in the last twelve minutes of the 2007 FA Cup Final at the new Wembley Stadium against Manchester United. Chelsea emerged triumphant, 1-0 after extra-time with a goal scored by Didier Drogba, to win the 2007 FA Cup.
Cole has played for England at youth and senior levels. He was capped for the England U-20 team at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship. Cole made his senior debut against Albania, on March 28, 2001. He played for England at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Euro 2004 and 2006 FIFA World Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cups and has over 100 caps for England, though he has never scored an international goal.