Nicknamed "Cashley" by disgruntled Arsenal fans following his defection to Chelsea, Cole has also been booed by the England supporters at Wembley after a mistake against Kazakhstan in a World Cup qualifier and generally vilified by the tabloid press.
Despite all that, Cole has still established himself as one the best left-backs in the world.
Nurtured through Arsenal's youth ranks by Arsene Wenger, Cole really came of age at Euro 2004 when he produced an almost perfect performance at left-back to mark Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo out of their quarter-final clash.
On his return to domestic football, Cole was "tapped-up" by Premier League rivals Chelsea in 2005 and was fined £100,000 for meeting Blues' representatives in a hotel. He eventually moved to Stamford Bridge in July 2006 following a contract wrangle with the Gunners that saw his popularity hit a new low.
Despite winning the double with the Gunners in 2001-02 and being part of the 'Invincibles' side which won the league unbeaten in 2004-05 he is not remembered fondly at the Emirates. Cole continues to win silverware at Stamford Bridge and has picked up more FA Cup titles than any other player.
Strengths: Pacy, with great powers of recovery and when he is on his game is very difficult to beat. Very good at getting forward to supplement the attack.
Weaknesses: Can sometimes be rash in the tackle and his diminutive size can leave him vulnerable in an aerial battle.
Career high: Being part of the Arsenal team which won the league title without losing a single match.
Career low: The ill-fated publication of his book, My Defence, which was supposed to set the record straight about his exit from Arsenal but which backfired spectacularly.
Style: Quick, attacking, a defender with great stamina.
Quotes: "When I heard Jonathan [Cole's agent] repeat the figure of £55k-a-week, I nearly swerved off the road. 'He is taking the piss, Jonathan!' I yelled down the phone. I was so incensed. I was trembling with anger. I couldn't believe what I'd heard." Ashley Cole after being offered a mere £55,000-a-week by Arsenal.
Trivia: In September 2007 the Daily Star reported that R&B diva Mariah Carey discovered she was a distant cousin of Ashley Cole whilst researching if she was related to jazz legend Nat King Cole.