Ashley Cole has confirmed his retirement from professional football.

A decorated left-back for club and country, the England international was widely recognised as one of the finest players in the world in his position during his time with Arsenal and Chelsea.

Stints at Roma, LA Galaxy and Derby County followed for Cole, who will now focus on a move into coaching.

Here, we look at some of the numbers the 38-year-old returned over the course of a magnificent career at the top level.

385 ­– Across spells with Arsenal and Chelsea, Cole made 385 appearance in the Premier League. He won England's top flight on three occasions – with the Gunners in 2001-02 and 2003-04 before starring for Carlo Ancelotti's Blues in 2009-10.

7 – Triumphing with Arsenal in 2002, 2003 and 2005 and Chelsea in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2010, Cole has more FA Cup wins than any player in the competition's history.

38 – Cole was an ever-present for Chelsea in the Premier League during the 2011-12 campaign. It was also the season he supplied his highest number of assists (six).

15 – He chipped in with 15 goals over the course of his time in England's top flight, with four of those coming amid Chelsea's title-winning efforts of 2009-10.

107 – Cole comes in sixth in terms of all-time England caps with 107, one shy of 1966 World Cup-winning captain Bobby Robson. Former international team-mates Wayne Rooney (120), David Beckham (115) and Steven Gerrard (114) are also ahead of him, along with England's all-time most capped player Peter Shilton. Cole's Chelsea colleague Frank Lampard played for the Three Lions 106 times.

0 – No player has featured more often for England without scoring, with fellow full-back Gary Neville (85) the next most capped on that list.

22 – Cole has made more appearances at major tournament finals than any England player. Rooney and Gerrard managed 21, with Beckham and Shilton on 20.

Millwall have been fined £10,000 and ordered to "implement an action plan" after the Football Association (FA) ruled a section of the club's supporters were guilty of racist chanting in an FA Cup tie against Everton.

The FA launched an investigation after footage emerged on social media that appeared to show some fans taunting opposition spectators with a song including a derogatory term about people of south Asian descent during the fixture at The Den on January 26.

Millwall were subsequently charged with failing to control their fans and hit out at the "abhorrent" racist abuse in a club statement.

It was ruled by the FA that Millwall failed to "use all due diligence" to ensure the club's supporters did not use racist language.

"An independent Regulatory Commission has ordered Millwall FC to implement an action plan and fined the club £10,000," an FA spokesperson said.

"The Commission found that the club had failed to use all due diligence to ensure its responsibility was discharged under FA Rule E21 in respect of the charge against it for a breach of FA Rule E20.

"The FA investigated allegations of discriminatory behaviour and chanting during the club’s Emirates FA Cup fixture against Everton FC on 26 January 2019 after becoming aware of a video posted on social media.

"The FA subsequently alleged that the club failed to ensure its spectators, and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers, conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and refrained from using abusive and/or insulting words, which included a reference to race and/or ethnic origin and/or colour, during the fixture."

Millwall confirmed they will not appeal but said they "fundamentally disagree with several elements which have shaped the subsequent sanction against [us]".

The club have vowed to work alongside anti-racism governing bodies Kick It Out and Show Racism The Red Card.

After all the excitement in the build-up, the Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham did not live up to the hype on Saturday.

Mohamed Salah scored with a second-minute penalty and there was little further action of note until substitute Divock Origi clinched victory late on.

The standard of play was desperately poor in a huge clash between two of the Premier League's top sides.

Liverpool will not mind after claiming a sixth European Cup, but this was not a contest that will live long in the memory.

This was far from the first final to disappoint, though, and we take a look some other underwhelming showpiece matches.



Some commentators had warned in the build-up to Saturday's Madrid clash that Champions League finals between sides from the same country are rarely exciting affairs. Perhaps the greatest example of that was AC Milan's 2003 shoot-out win over Juventus.

The Serie A pair played out a dismal goalless draw as any early attacking intent - including a disallowed Andriy Shevchenko goal - completely dissipated to make for an awful watch. Even the shoot-out saw five players fail to score.


In the first FA Cup final back at the rebuilt Wembley, the two best teams in England failed to impress. The game started slowly and struggled to build from there, with no goals in normal time and few clear-cut chances.

The winning goal finally arrived in the 116th minute as Didier Drogba prodded into the net to prevent a penalty shoot-out and hand Chelsea victory.



Spain's wonderful brand of passing football saw them established as one of the greatest international sides in history, yet their crowning moment - a World Cup final win over Netherlands - was hugely underwhelming.

The reigning European champions were certainly not helped by their opponents' tactics or, perhaps, the refereeing. Netherlands took a rugged approach in a bid to slow Spain - with 13 players booked, including John Heitinga, who was later sent off - and their tactics worked until Andres Iniesta struck four minutes from the end of extra-time.


A dreadful Euro 2004 final saw Portugal denied by shock winners Greece on home turf, yet it was the turn of Cristiano Ronaldo and Co to play the role of spoilers in 2016. Hosts France seemed destined for the title but could not fire on the big stage.

The standard of the match was further harmed by Ronaldo's early withdrawal with an injury, leaving the forward to play the role of cheerleader as unheralded team-mate Eder blasted in an extra-time winner.

Undimmed by the passage of time and present-day struggles at Old Trafford, Manchester United's 1999 treble remains the greatest single-season achievement in English club football history.

While Manchester City's current domestic dominance is one of towering points totals and smashed records, Alex Ferguson's finest hour was one built upon a death-or-glory knife edge.

From Birmingham to Barcelona via Turin, a United side packed with household names secured their legacy in unforgettable style.

To mark the 20th anniversary of a remarkable triumph, we look back at some of the signature wins in a campaign that came to define Ferguson's Old Trafford dynasty.

Manchester United 2 Liverpool 0 (Premier League, September 24)

Never mind three trophies, United were yet to claim three league wins by the time bitter rivals Liverpool arrived at Old Trafford in late September and Ferguson's men had been beaten 3-0 by reigning champions Arsenal four days earlier. Denis Irwin hammered in a 19th-minute penalty after fellow Republic of Ireland international Jason McAteer was penalised for handball and Paul Scholes thrashed left-footed into the top corner 11 minutes from time to crown a trademark counter-attack. The victory launched a three-match winning streak – United were up and running.

Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1 (FA Cup fourth round, January 24)

Tottenham knocked a much-changed United out of the League Cup in December and Liverpool looked set to end their FA Cup ambitions after Michael Owen nodded in an early opener. Dwight Yorke converted Andy Cole's knockdown from a floated David Beckham free-kick to level in the 88th minute and, following some neat footwork from Scholes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pounced in stoppage-time – a theme we'll return to later.

Nottingham Forest 1 Manchester United 8 (Premier League, February 6)

Forest's day did not look like it could get much worse when Solskjaer trotted on to replace Yorke in the 71st minute, United already 4-1 to the good at the City Ground. The "Baby-Faced Assassin" duly pilfered four goals in the final 10 minutes of the contest as United clinically and mercilessly pulled their ill-equipped foes to pieces.

Pep Guardiola believes Vincent Kompany's destiny is to return Manchester City later in his career as the centre-back prepares to leave for a player-manager role at Anderlecht.

Kompany has spent 11 years at City and enjoyed great success, with the Champions League being the only major trophy he failed to win at the Premier League club.

His final success came on Saturday when City crushed Watford 6-0 to lift the FA Cup, completing an unprecedented domestic treble, adding to Premier League and EFL Cup triumphs.

The 33-year-old Belgian announced a day later that he was to leave and return to Anderlecht, his first club as a professional, and will take up a player-manager position.

City will struggle to replace Kompany's experience and influence, but Guardiola is confident the defender will return one day.

"I think we're going to miss him [Kompany] a lot," Guardiola said during City's trophy parade on Monday.

"I'm going to miss him, but he is going to see us in the future because he is coming back sooner or later.

"It's the best way to say goodbye after an incredible season together. He was a real captain, he helped us a lot.

"Now it's time to have good food, good wine and enjoy this incredible season together. In a few weeks we are going to think about [the future]. Now we are going to enjoy what we have done."

Bernardo Silva vowed to "go for" the Champions League after being named Manchester City's Player of the Season at the club's trophy parade on Monday.

Silva enjoyed a fine campaign, nailing down a spot in the starting spot despite Riyad Mahrez's arrival and excelling in a number of different roles.

The Portuguese midfielder's haul of seven goals in the Premier League helped City retain the title, while they also claimed the EFL Cup and FA Cup, the latter of which they won in a 6-0 hammering of Watford on Saturday.

City announced Silva had topped a fan vote for the individual honour during Monday's celebrations, with the winner declaring his intention to help secure European success next term.

"Thank you very much everyone," he said. "The way you pushed us this season. You made it real for us. Without them [the fans], it wouldn't be possible. Next season, we'll come back, trying to give you more titles.

"A lot of hard work has been put in. We're very tired! It's been a long season, a fantastic season for us, but with four trophies [the Premier League, EFL Cup, FA Cup and Community Shield] for all squad and staff, it's been amazing.

"Hopefully, we want to do better, try and go for European trophies as well - it's what we're missing.

"The supporters need to demand more from us. European trophies - we need that. Let’s go for it."

Vincent Kompany bid farewell to Manchester City's supporters by declaring his undying love for the club he believes to be the best in the world - then signed off with a mic drop at their trophy parade.

Kompany and City broke the news on Sunday that the Belgian is to depart the club after 11 years, returning to Anderlecht to take up a player-manager role.

The centre-back has enjoyed great success at City, winning four Premier League titles and the EFL Cup on four occasions. He is also a two-time FA Cup winner after Saturday's 6-0 hammering of Watford at Wembley.

That victory clinched an unprecedented domestic treble, having already won the Premier League and EFL Cup this season, allowing Kompany to depart on a high.

City took to the streets of Manchester on Monday for an open-top bus parade with those three trophies and the Community Shield, allowing Kompany the opportunity to say goodbye to the fans.

He said: "I've wanted to do this all my life. You are the best club in the world, I don't care whether you win the Champions League or not.

"You are the best club in the world and remember that forever. These guys deserve all your love every day of the week, every single day of the year they'll work hard.”

"This is the way I want to leave, I love you – I'm out," Kompany concluded before dropping the microphone.

Prior to the speech, footage of musician Noel Gallagher - a City fan - thanking Kompany for his service was shown on the big screen, before the musician played 'Wonderwall' in tribute to the Belgian, with both supporters and the rest of the squad singing along.

Kevin De Bruyne is not bothered about Manchester City's Champions League failure, adamant every team would want to be in their position after clinching an unprecedented domestic treble.

City crushed Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup final on Saturday, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus netting braces while De Bruyne and David Silva also scored in the rout at Wembley Stadium.

Their success on Saturday followed on from Premier League and EFL Cup triumphs, capping an immensely successful campaign for Pep Guardiola's squad.

The only trophy to elude them was the Champions League, having been knocked out by Tottenham in the quarter-finals.

However, De Bruyne would rather focus on what they have won rather than the one that got away.

When asked if it was annoying City did not do better in Europe, De Bruyne said: "No, not at all.

"I think if everyone could take our situation, they would do it without blinking. You can't really think about 'what if' or what should happen.

"We lost in the Champions League, you take it on the chin and go further. The response we did afterwards is the way you should react. By winning the title and winning the FA Cup.

"I don't think in the start of the year you have the goal of winning three titles.

"You set up to be the best you can and in the end you have to reflect on what's going well and what's not.

"This year we can reflect on that we won three titles and got to the quarter finals of the Champions League and that's an incredible feat in itself."

City's exploits over the last two seasons has seen some suggest they are among the greatest English sides ever but while De Bruyne is flattered, he is not about to join the debate as he feels it is impossible to compare different generations.

"Luckily, I don't ever have to debate that," he said. "It's great to be in contention to be named with other teams.

"For me personally, it is impossible to compare generations, it is impossible to compare style of football.

"Football changes all of time like every other sport. It is great to be there, it means you are part of one of the best ever teams in the Premier League and that doesn't happen to a lot of people."

Vincent Kompany said he had "lived the dream" as he called time on his Manchester City career in the aftermath of the victory that clinched an unprecedented treble.

After 11 seasons at City, the 33-year-old announced his decision to join his boyhood club Anderlecht as player-manager on a three-year deal, and he said his years in Manchester give him the football education he needs to launch the next phase of his career.

That his last game in the sky blue of City saw him captain the team to a 6-0 FA Cup final win over Watford was fitting, given the glittering, trophy-laden years that preceded it.

The four Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four EFL Cups and two Community Shields Kompany won with City only tell part of a tale packed with memorable moments.

As an inspirational captain waves goodbye to the conquerors of English football, we look back at his best moments.

May 2011: A first taste of glory

Kompany said that beating Manchester United in the 2011 FA Cup semi-final was the moment City started to believe they could win trophies.

The confidence with which City despatched their bitter rivals 1-0, courtesy of Yaya Toure's goal, was underpinned by Kompany's towering performance at centre-back, and he was every bit as good in the final.

Alongside Joleon Lescott, Kompany put in another faultless display at Wembley as Toure struck again versus Stoke City, securing the club's first major trophy in 35 years and giving birth to a dynasty.

April 2012: Turning the tide

Manchester United won the Premier League title 13 times between 1993 and 2013, but a crucial goal from Kompany preceded the end of the Red Devils' era of dominance.

The 2011-12 title race was poised on a knife edge with United holding the advantage until Kompany rose in first-half stoppage time at Etihad Stadium to power a header beyond David de Gea.

The 1-0 victory - over rivals City would hold off to win the title on goal difference 13 days later - and Kompany's becalming of Wayne Rooney signalled a shift in the balance of power from which United have never fully recovered.

May 2014: Title number two

United delivered one last Premier League title for Alex Ferguson in 2013, but the following year they were nowhere to be seen as Liverpool pushed City all the way to the final day of the 2013-14 season.

Manuel Pellegrini's City team needed a point from their clash with West Ham to regain the title, and their captain was on hand to score the second in a 2-0 victory at the Etihad before he lifted English football's most coveted trophy for a second time.

2016-2018: Fighting to be fit

A series of injuries tarnished Kompany's season in 2015-16, restricting him to just 14 Premier League appearances, but the indomitable Belgian starred in the EFL Cup final and was named man of the match for his display before a penalty shoot-out victory over Liverpool.

Calf problems continued to badly hamper Kompany, although in February 2018 the sheer force of his spirit and desire to play was on display at Wembley. He scored City's second in a 3-0 EFL Cup final win over Arsenal and was again named man of the match.

May 2019: Bowing out in style

Kompany's last Premier League campaign was arguably the most thrilling of all and, when City desperately needed a moment of inspiration to see them over the line, their captain fantastic did not let them down.

Even his team-mates were taken aback when Kompany swung back his right foot with 20 minutes left to play in a must-win game against Leicester City at the Etihad, and the thunderbolt he unleashed into the top right corner of Kasper Schmeichel's net from 25 yards stunned everyone.

The goal settled the match and left City just needing a win over Brighton on the final day to clinch the title, which they duly delivered, and while Kompany will always be remembered at City for his defending rather than his finishing, the image of his wonder strike will forever be etched into the club's collective memory.

Vincent Kompany has played his final game for Manchester City, with the Premier League champions confirming that their captain is leaving the club.

The 33-year-old played a pivotal role in City winning an unprecedented domestic treble this season, making 24 appearances across all competitions and scoring one goal - a stunning long-range strike in the 1-0 win over Leicester City on May 6.

Kompany joined City in 2008, and went on to make 360 appearances for the club, winning the Premier League on four occasions, as well as lifting two FA Cups, four EFL Cups and two Community Shields.

But he has now called time on his City career, with the club announcing on Sunday - in the wake of their 6-0 FA Cup final triumph over Watford - that the Belgium international will not be signing a new contract.

In a statement released on City's website, Kompany said:  "As overwhelming as it is, the time has come for me to go. And what a season to bow out.

"I feel nothing but gratefulness. I am grateful to all those who supported me on a special journey, at a very special club. I remember the first day, as clear as I see the last. I remember the boundless kindness I received from the people of Manchester.

"I will never forget how all Man City supporters remained loyal to me in good times and especially bad times. Against the odds you have always backed me and inspired me to never give up."

Kompany joined City from Anderlecht in August 2008, 10 days before Sheikh Mansour's takeover of the club, and became an inspirational leader in a trophy laden-period for the club, despite suffering the debilitating effect of persistent calf injuries.

"There have been many important contributors to Manchester City’s renaissance, but arguably none are more important than Vincent Kompany," said club chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

"He defines the essence of the club. For a decade he has been the lifeblood, the soul, and beating heart of a supremely talented squad.

"A booming voice in the dressing room yet a quiet and measured ambassador off it, Vincent can be as proud of himself as we are of him."

Kompany is set to take part in City's parade of their three major trophies in Manchester on Monday and a testimonial game will take place in his honour on September 11.

Vincent Kompany has played his final game for Manchester City, with the Premier League champions confirming that their captain is leaving the club.

Raheem Sterling offered an explanation for his post-match discussion with manager Pep Guardiola following Manchester City's 6-0 FA Cup-final win over Watford at Wembley.

Sterling scored twice in the crushing victory as a rampant City strolled to an unprecedented domestic treble, though he seemed to be receiving a firm – albeit well-natured – talking to from his boss after the trophy presentation.

And now the England forward jokingly revealed the conversation circulated around his attempt to 'steal' Gabriel Jesus' goal, which put City 2-0 up before half-time on Saturday.

Jesus' header was going in as Sterling made contact, and despite initial confusion, the forward was denied an FA Cup hat-trick when match officials awarded the Brazil striker the goal following full-time.

"He just said I shouldn't have tried to steal that first goal," Sterling replied in response to a Manchester City tweet captioning the video of his and Guardiola's discussion.

Javi Gracia believes Watford had no chance of beating Manchester City in the FA Cup final after Roberto Pereyra missed a glorious early chance when the match was 0-0.

City ran out comprehensive winners at Wembley on Saturday in the end, crushing Watford 6-0 thanks to braces from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus, with David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne getting one each.

But early on things were significantly more even, Watford creating a brilliant opportunity in the 10th minute.

City were caught on a break led by Gerard Deulofeu and the Spaniard played the ball inside to Pereyra, who failed to beat the onrushing Ederson in goal.

Pep Guardiola's men opened the scoring 16 minutes later and they never looked back, leaving Gracia to rue Pereyra's wastefulness.

"Very tough defeat and result, but I know it's a difficult moment now to recognise other things," Gracia told reporters.

"We've lost, City were much better than us, but there were different moments in the game. We started the game well, we created the best chance for us with Roberto Pereyra after 10 minutes, but we need to score that chance if you want to have some chance to win the game.

"After that, to speak about one or two plays after losing 6-0 is difficult to explain.

"I'm happy with the first part of the game, but after if you let them have spaces, they show their quality and they're very good players. There's nothing to say, only to congratulate them."

City's win was the biggest in an FA Cup final since Bury thrashed Derby County by the same scoreline in 1903.

Gracia remains appreciative of his players' efforts, however, and thinks experiencing such a humbling defeat will help them in future.

"I'm very proud of my players, I'm proud of our supporters. All of us know how difficult it is for us to be here and to enjoy a game like this," Gracia added.

"As you can see, our supporters helped the players until the end and I'm proud of being part of this club.

"There's nothing to say, only good words for my players. I know this moment is difficult to accept, this defeat, but for all of us, we are a team and we've enjoyed this season together a lot and today we suffer together.

"I think it's a step forward for us to live this experience and I'm sure we'll have more options in the future, not only in the FA Cup, in the Premier League as well.

"We want to improve, we want to do better next season and I think we are in the right way with the players we have."

Pep Guardiola feels Manchester City's clean sweep of domestic trophies is harder than winning the Champions League but predicted the feat will be achieved again.

Guardiola's side routed Watford 6-0 at Wembley on Saturday to add the FA Cup title to the EFL Cup and Premier League the club won earlier in the season.

City opened the campaign by winning the Community Shield with a quarter-final Champions League exit to Tottenham their only failure of a history-making year in which they achieved a feat never previously completed by an English club.

"[It is] one of the best seasons I have experienced as a manager. I wouldn't say the best but one of them for sure," Guardiola told a news conference.

"Playing all competitions and after what incredible teams have done in this country to be the first - it means if one team is able then one will repeat sooner or later but we are first. 

"I love the Champions League but to do that is more difficult than to win the Champions League.

"For the organisation and [City owner] Sheikh Mansour and these players deserve all the big, big compliments. Because it's not easy, to play every three days - after a bad night you're out. 

"Today we played with a lack of energy, winning the Premier League was so tough. This week we could not keep the energy but we had it when we needed it."

Guardiola insisted City can get even better and hinted he will enter the transfer market to add further depth to his squad.

"Individual attributes and moments, mistakes some are repeated in some players they have to improve, maybe a few are coming to help with the way we play," Guardiola added.

"We cannot forget we won the Premier League by one point from Liverpool, we are not far away.

"I said yesterday Liverpool showed how tough it will be, the standard we face, we tried to improve but always in game you can improve, saying that I am more than satisfied of course."

Pep Guardiola reacted angrily to a question about Manchester City's financial management after his side hammered Watford in the FA Cup final.

City wrapped up a season of dominance at Wembley on Saturday by routing the Hornets 6-0, adding the FA Cup to their EFL Cup and Premier League trophies.

UEFA confirmed on Thursday an investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play rules had been referred to their adjudicatory chamber - City strenuously deny any wrongdoing - and Guardiola bristled at a journalist who asked if he had received money from the club for work outside his managerial role.

"Do you know the question that you're asking to me? Do you know the question you are asking to me?" a clearly angry Guardiola fired back.

"You are asking about money for another situation right now today.

"Honestly, do you think I deserve to have this type of question, on the day we won the treble, if I received money from other situations?

"Are you accusing me?"

Asked for his thoughts on the UEFA investigation, Guardiola added: "This club made a step forward definitely. You can do it without top players? No way.

"Money helps to buy incredible players, yes. After that we wait [to see] if we are punished. I have listened as to why we are under investigation and I trust them [the club].

"We do it absolutely following the rules I believe, if opponents do not believe it's okay."

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