Former Chelsea and England winger Joe Cole has announced his retirement from football after 20 years as a professional footballer.

The 37-year-old won seven trophies with Chelsea including three Premier League titles, two FA Cups, Football League Cup and Community Shield.

The former England international, who boasts 56 caps and 10 goals for the Three Lions, has last played for the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the USA.

Following his announcement, Cole said: “After 20 years as a professional, the time has come for me to hang up my boots. It has been a dream come true. All of it.”

“My favourite thing about being a professional footballer was the feeling you enjoy after coming back into the dressing room after a win. It will be difficult to replicate that but I’ll always remember all of my former team-mates who I shared that experience with.”

“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have played with some of the very best players of my era and even more fortunate to call a lot of them friends.”

“As a fan, I loved watching wholehearted, skilful players and this is what inspired me. I remembered what was special for me when I was sitting in the stands watching games and I tried to replicate this.”

“I hope I was able to do this for some of the fans and people who have watched my games over the years.”

“Winning trophies at Chelsea was particularly special for me. Those memories will live with me forever, as will the chance I had to share them with my family.”

Cole has also spoken out about his future after his playing career as the Englishman has insisted that he wanted to move into coaching.

“Looking to the future, I want to stay involved in the game,” he said.

“I feel I can offer a lot as a coach and have really enjoyed the opportunity to undertake some of these duties with the Rowdies.”

“To lend my experience to help other young footballers achieve their dreams, just like I did, is a big passion of mine.”

Cole, who began his youth and senior career at West Ham United before moving to Chelsea, ends his career having played 648 games and scored 92 goals.

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