Ahead of Cole's 100 caps landmark, Hansen argued in the Telegraph: "Cole will deservedly enter the ranks of the true England greats when he reaches his milestone against Brazil this week.
"Cole is the definition of the perfect full-back, and in many ways he is something of a footballing freak – a complete player. Full-backs tend to be easily separated into two categories, very good at one end of the pitch but a bit suspect at the other.
"There are those who defend well but offer very little going forward, and there are others who get up and down the touchline quickly enough and offer your attackers plenty of support, but tend to leave you exposed defensively. Every manager is looking for the perfect amalgamation of both because every manager is looking for the next Ashley Cole. Such players are unusual."