Paolo Maldini: I’m surprised England didn’t pick Ashley Cole for England’s World Cup squad
Italian legend Paolo Maldini insists he cannot believe that England have left out Ashley Cole from the World Cup squad for this summers tournament in Brazil.
The Chelsea left-back has struggled to play many games at club level this season, with Jose Mourinho preferring Cesar Azpilicueta at left-back. That has prompted manager, Roy Hodgson to pick his England World Cup squad, to select Everton’s ever-present Leighton Baines, as well as youngster Luke Shaw.
There has been fierce criticism regarding Hodgson’s decision to leave out Cole, who has represented England 107 times in his illustrious career and those concerns have been echoed by Italian icon and AC Milan legend, Paolo Maldini.
The Italian defender, who won over 100 caps for Italy before retiring from international football in 2002, told reporters: “Ashley Cole is one of the great left backs of all time – and I have seen nothing to suggest that he is still not one of the best in the world.
“The coach must make his own decisions – but he would have been one of the first players I would have picked.
“Not only for his big game experience – but for the way he performs in the big games. How many times have we seen him keep the best attacking players in the world quiet in the big games – he is a player that rises to the occasion.
“It is important to have youth in the side of course – but not to take one of the players who is still maybe the best in his position in the world – I just don’t understand.”