Former Chelsea star Joe Cole recently announced his retirement from football at age 37, and plaudits have been pouring in for the mercurial forward who made his mark at Stamford Bridge.
Cole joined Chelsea in 2003, where he spent seven trophy-laden years at Stamford Bridge.
Cole who won three Premier League titles at Chelsea was teammates with Eden Hazard at Lille, and Hazard has paid tribute to the former Chelsea star and has revealed that Cole played a role in influencing his move to Chelsea.
On his former team-mate hanging up his boots, Hazard said: “I spoke to him before I signed for Chelsea.
“Every day, seriously, he was telling me that Chelsea was the best club for me.
“He said Chelsea was a big club where you can win trophies every season. For that reason I signed, so thank you, Joe Cole.”
Chelsea also paid tribute to Cole by posting a video of his moments as a Chelsea player with the caption: “Thanks for the memories Joe Cole.”
Cole thanked Chelsea in his farewell speech and admitted that he’ll forever cherish the club.
“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,” said Cole.
“Whatever is next, I hope the next two decades are as special as my last 20 years as a professional have been. A huge thanks to everyone who helped me along that path.
“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.
“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.
“Looking to the future, I want to stay involved in the game. I feel I can offer a lot as a coach.
“To lend my experience to help other young footballers achieve their dreams, just like I did, is a big passion of mine.”