Friday, March 25, 2011

Joe Cole

Joseph John "Joe" Cole (born 8 November 1981 in London, England) is an English footballer who plays for Liverpool, and the England national team. He started his career with West Ham United where he played more than 100 games during five years, until he left for Chelsea in 2003. Cole won a number of trophies with Chelsea, including three Premier League titles and two FA Cups before leaving on a free transfer in July 2010 to join Liverpool.Cole was born in Paddington, London and lived there until he moved to Camden at the age of six. He was educated at St. Mary's Primary School, Bryanston Square in Marylebone along with brother Nicky and sister Charly, He also attended Haverstock School in Chalk Farm, Camden and St. Aloysius RC College in North London.

A child prodigy who received national media attention as a schoolboy, Cole famously scored seven of the eight goals the England youth team scored against Spain in one match. Cole is a product of the famed West Ham United youth system. He was long touted as the hottest prospect in English football with Manchester United reportedly offering to pay £10 million for his services as a 16-year-old. Playing in a mould similar to former England favourite Paul Gascoigne, he quickly progressed through the West Ham ranks before making his first-team debut at the age of 17. In 1999 Cole was part of West Ham's victorious FA Youth Cup winning squad (alongside Michael Carrick), defeating Coventry City 9–0 on aggregate in the final. In January 2003 Glenn Roeder, then West Ham United manager gave Cole the club captain's armband at the age of 21. The club was relegated from the Premier League at the end of that season. Cole won the "Hammer of the Year award" for 2003.

Joe Cole England vs Sweden World Cup 2006 1st goal

Cole took advantage of injuries to other players (namely fellow flankmen Damien Duff and Arjen Robben) to become one of the stars of Chelsea's Premier League title winning team in 2004–05. Cole's form saw him hit a run of goals towards the end of the season, and his goal against Norwich City (blasted in from 22 yards off his weaker left foot) was voted in the top ten goals of the 2004–05 Premier League season. Cole scored 10 goals for Chelsea in 2004–05 and ended the season with a Premier League Champions' medal. He was subsequently named in the PFA's team of the season. In the first half of the 2005–06 season Cole secured himself in the Chelsea first team line up, ahead of Shaun Wright-Phillips and Duff. Cole also extended his contract with Chelsea for another four seasons. He ended his season by scoring the one of the three goals against Manchester United, which sealed the title for Chelsea. Just weeks after Cole's participation in the 2006 World Cup, he was injured in the pre-season. In January 2007, Cole underwent surgery for a stress fracture on his foot he suffered in late 2006. Cole made his return for Chelsea in the first leg of Chelsea's 1–1 draw in the Champions League quarter-final tie against Valencia. Cole worked hard in Chelsea's 2–1 victory in the second leg. He started for Chelsea in their victory over Manchester United in the 2007 FA Cup Final, and went on to be substituted at half time. Cole did not play for Chelsea in the pre-season,[when?] due to cruciate ligament damage in his knee, suffered in January 2009. He was one of the substitutes for Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League clash against F.C. Porto, which Chelsea won 1–0, however he was never brought on in a match that saw torrential rain lashing Stamford Bridge in London. He made a return to the starting squad in Chelsea's Carling Cup Match with QPR on 23 September 2009, in which he was also handed captain's armband. He also came on as a substitute in the Champions League game between Cypriot side Apoel Nicosia. Cole made his first Premier League 2009-10 appearance for Chelsea against Blackburn Rovers. He played in the attacking midfield role and influenced Chelsea to blast 5 goals against Blackburn. On 8 November Cole played his 250th game for Chelsea, coming on as a substitute against Manchester United in the 62nd minute for Deco, on his 28th birthday.[citation needed] On 21 November he scored the last goal in Chelsea's 4–0 win against Wolves. On 3 April, he scored the opener against Manchester United at Old Trafford after 19 minutes with a masterful back heel deflection from a Florent Malouda cross,[citation needed] Chelsea went on to win the game 2–1. He came on as a substitute as Chelsea won the 2010 FA Cup Final, his second appearance in a Cup Final for Chelsea. His contract with Chelsea expired on 30 June 2010, making him a free agent.

Cole joined Liverpool on a free transfer after signing a four-year deal in July 2010. He was manager Roy Hodgson's first signing at the club and was given the number 10 shirt. Described as 'better than Messi' by Steven Gerrard, Cole was advertised as a major coup by the club. Cole made his Liverpool debut on 5 August 2010 against Rabotnicki in the UEFA Europa League assisting the opening goal for David Ngog in a 2-0 win. His league debut, against Arsenal at Anfield on 15 August 2010, lasted just 45 minutes as he was sent off for a challenge on Laurent Koscielny. In his next match on 19 August 2010, Cole missed a penalty against Trabzonspor in the Europa League third qualifying round first leg, as Liverpool won 1-0. Cole played in Jamie Carragher's Testimonial match, where he scored his first goal for the club. Cole scored his first competitive goal for the club against FC Steaua Bucureşti in a Europa League match at Anfield on 16 September 2010, when he scored 27 seconds into the game. Liverpool ended up winning 4-1. He scored his first Premier League goal for Liverpool in a 2-1 win against Bolton Wanderers on 3 January 2011. Cole played his first match under Dalglish in a 0-0 draw at Sparta Prague in which he came on as a first half substitute for the injured Fabio Aurelio.

Fantastic Joe Cole

As an England youth international Cole scored seven goals in an 8-1 victory against Spain, as well as playing for England's Under 17 team, where he scored the winning goal against Norway in a final of the Nordic Tournament. Cole made his senior international debut against Mexico in May 2001. He was a member of England's 2002 World Cup squad, and made one substitute appearance. Cole was also a squad member at Euro 2004, but did not play. His displays in England's friendlies leading up to the 2006 World Cup enhanced his reputation ahead of the summer's finals in Germany. In May 2006 he was confirmed in the England squad for the World Cup, ahead of Chelsea teammate Shaun Wright-Phillips. He played on the left side of midfield in England's opening game against Paraguay on 10 June 2006. On 20 June 2006, England drew with Sweden, in the World Cup, with a final score of 2–2. Cole scored a volley in the 34th minute of the match got an assist in the 85th when he sent in a ball to Steven Gerrard. At the end of the match, Budweiser announced that Cole received the Man of the match. The Swedish football fans congratulated England for having such a valuable player in the tournament. Cole lined up for the England squad for the first time since the 2006 World Cup in the 1–1 friendly draw against the Netherlands, providing an assist for Wayne Rooney from a cross. After another injury, he returned to start the friendly against Brazil at Wembley on 1 June. Cole scored his seventh goal for England in June 2007, in their European Championship qualifier, away to Estonia.

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