Roy Hodgson has confirmed Ashley Cole will start against Brazil tomorrow at Wembley and become only the seventh player to reach 100 caps for England.
Hodgson, however, speaking ahead of the friendly against the five-time World Cup winners, hinted that it will be captain Steven Gerrard, rather than Cole, who leads the team out against Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side.
‘He will start the game,’ said the England manager. ‘I’ll have to see then what I do with Leighton [Baines], who has come on very well in his absence. They’re both exceptional players, but certainly Ashley will start.
‘I don’t think he’s ever pushed himself forward during his 100 appearances as a potential captain of the team, he’s just very happy to be a key player.’
Gerrard, who reached the 100 cap mark in the November defeat against Sweden, paid his own tribute to Cole.
‘I look at the players I’ve played with in my career and he’s certainly been probably the most consistent player I’ve played with in an England shirt,’ he acknowledged. ‘He’s proved he’s one of the best left-backs in the world.’