Joe Cole retires: The moments that defined his illustrious career
Joe Cole has called time on his professional career. In a country that always hypes the next big thing, Cole epitomised the desire for a better way of playing the beautiful game.
A potential case of a player who was born in the wrong era, Cole was as a creative midfielder in the days when 4-4-2 was pretty much the only formation. You either found a way to fit in or you struggled.
Even when the Paddington-born prodigy was just 15, West Ham paraded the teenager at Upton Park during half-time of a league match against Chelsea to celebrate the prospect signing his first professional contract. The stadium announcer declared: “You can tell your grandchildren you were here when Joe Cole signed.”
While his career may have never reached the lofty potential it once possessed, the 5 foot 7 genius retires after 716 professional games, 104 goals and 56 caps for his country spanning three World Cups.
In honour of Cole hanging up his boots, we look at the moments that defined his career.