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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Joseph John Cole (born November 8, 1981 in) is a professional footballer who plays for Chelsea of the English premier league and the England National Team. He is a right-footed midfielder with an avowed preference for a central position but has enjoyed most success playing as a left or right-sided midfielder at Chelsea, due to his fine dribbling abilities and ball control. This is because he has learned to be somewhat two-footed, making him a very versatile player.

was born in Islington, London and lived there before moving to Camden at the age of seven. A child prodigy who received national media attention as a schoolboy and a product of the famed West Ham United youth system, Cole 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. Cole became club captain at 19.

Joe Cole left relegated West Ham in the summer of 2003, as most expected he would do, and it was Chelsea who swooped for him, aided by the money Roman Abramovich made available for transfers. Now Cole faces the challenge of trying to fight for a place in Chelsea's star-studded midfield. Maintaining a place in the Chelsea first team during his first season at Stamford Bridge was always going to be tough with Claudio 'Tinkerman' Ranieri at the helm. Cole tended to start the less important games and come on as a substitute in the Champions League and Premiership clashes with the likes of Arsenal. He has been linked with a move away from the Bridge, with reports speculating that the midfielder is unhappy with the amount of first team action he is seeing.

The 2004/05 season saw Cole's fine form continue. Playing 46 games, he scored 9 goals, proving a useful playmaker in the centre of the Chelsea team as they secured the Barcalys Premiership trophy and Carling Cup in Jose Mourinho's first season in charge of the Blues.

In 2005/06, he continued to be a crucial part of Mourinho's side, improving throughout the season, despite the arrival of Shaun Wright-Phillips as competition for his place. He scored eleven goals including a classic against Man United on the day Chelsea were crowned champions again, and took that form into the World Cup with England.
He scored a stunning goal against Sweden in the 2-2 draw in the group stages, and was one of Sven Goran Eriksson's best players at that point, though he faded as the tournament went on.