Ashley Cole's landmark cap wins over Wembley sceptics
LONDON (AFP) - After spending much of his England career cast in the unwanted role of pantomime villain, Ashley Cole was finally able to savour a more appealing moment on the international stage as he won his 100th cap in Wednesday's 2-1 friendly victory against Brazil.
Cole is only the seventh player to reach a century of appearances for England, joining the elite group of David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Billy Wright and Peter Shilton.
But the 31-year-old is regarded by many as a symbol of all that is wrong with modern football's 'greed is good' culture and his acrimonious transfer from Arsenal to Chelsea, not to mention numerous negative headlines about his private life, have made him the Wembley crowd's whipping boy whenever England struggle.
Ever since Cole revealed in his autobiography that he had been horrified when Arsenal only offered him £55,000-a-week during contract negotiations, the left-back has been known as 'Cashley' to fans who often brandish bank notes at him when their team face Chelsea and subject him to ugly taunts.