Cole retires from international duty

Ashley Cole has retired from international duty after missing out on a spot in England's FIFA World Cup squad.

The 33-year-old made 107 appearances for his country after making his bow against Albania in March 2001.

However, he has lost his place in the Chelsea team this season to Cesar Azpilicueta and has seen Everton's Leighton Baines favoured in recent internationals.

Cole made just 15 starts in the Premier League under Jose Mourinho this term, and hours after playing 90 minutes in Chelsea's campaign-ending 2-1 win over Cardiff City on Sunday the 33-year-old made the announcement via his official Twitter page.

He posted: "I got the call from Roy and agree England team should be about the young players. I think it best I retire from England team now.

"We have a great manager and team and I wish them only success. I will be supporting them like a true fan. Thanks to everyone for everything."

Cole's decision comes on the eve of Roy Hodgson announcing his party for the tournament later this year, and the Chelsea man suggested that Baines and Southampton youngster Luke Shaw had been given the nod over him.

He added: "Baines and Shaw are great players, proved this season, and are the future of this country, it was a pleasure to get 107 caps.

"Like me or not, trust me it's hurt me to stop playing for my country."

Cole played every game in the last five major tournaments for his country, and is fifth in the all-time list of most-capped England players.

His club future also remains unclear after he tweeted his thanks to Chelsea's fans following the win over Cardiff, having been reduced to tears after their final home game of the season against Norwich City last week.

He said: "Whatever happens it's been a pleasure you Chelsea fans have to been amazing to me."