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Remembering Joe Cole's Incredible World Cup Goal Against Sweden

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Remembering Joe Cole's Incredible World Cup Goal Against Sweden

Joe Cole today announced his retirement from football and so it's only natural that we should remember and cherish his greatest contribution to football, his magnificent goal against Sweden in the World Cup.

To be honest I was a little surprised to find that Joe Cole retired today but mainly because I'd forgotten that he was still playing.

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The former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder had been playing for the Tampa Bay Rowdies but today announced that he is hanging up his boots. In his statement Cole said, "After 20 years as a professional, the time has come for me to hang up my boots. 716 professional games, 104 goals, for seven great clubs - West Ham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Lille, Aston Villa, Coventry City and the Tampa Bay Rowdies - as well the honour of playing for England. It has been a dream come true. All of it."

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The 37 year old won the Premier League three times with Chelsea, also adding two FA Cups however the best single moment of his career must have been at the 2006 World Cup.

Against Sweden he hit the sweetest strike in the group game and it's just a thing of beauty:

The game was packed with drama and excitement and eventually ended 2-2 when Henrik Larsson scored a late leveller.

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But the match was all about a swinging, thumping volley produced by Cole in the 34th minute to open the scoring. The ball was only half-cleared after a bit of England pressure, the ball fell to Cole 35 yards out, who controlled the ball on his chest and smashed the ball into the top corner, out of the reach of Andreas Isaksson.

That sweet strike. Image: PA Images
That sweet strike. Image: PA Images

Cole continued his statement saying, "There are key moments in every professional's career. One of mine came when I was a young West Ham player. A senior pro, who was nearing his own retirement, said to me: 'Enjoy every game, young man. It goes by in the blink of an eye and you'll miss it badly after it's gone." He was right. Those words resonate even more now than they did back then. I tried to play and live by his advice every single day because being a professional footballer is an absolute honour.

"Countless people have helped me through my career. I don't want to single anyone out individually for fear of overlooking someone else! Simply, to the managers, coaches, backroom staff and everyone who has helped me along the way: thank you.

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"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 teammates 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."

Whatever he goes on to next we wish Cole a happy retirement.

Topics: Liverpool, Football News, England, World Cup, Sweden

Ryan Sidle
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