Ashley Cole can complete the first leg of his footballing redemption this evening in Paris.
 
The Arsenal left back has missed most of the season with a combination of foot, ankle and thigh injuries but he has returned to fitness just in time to play in the Champions League Final against Barcelona.
 
With the World Cup coming up next month, Cole still has much to look forward to in a season that he nearly wrote off.
 
"It's been really tough for me," he said. "I've been out the whole season and I've never been injured for this amount of time before.
 
"But I think I've come back at the right time. I am looking forward to being involved in the Champions League Final and the World Cup.
 
"I did write my season off at one stage but I've had lots of friends and family around me and a girlfriend who has stuck by me when I've been annoying."
 
Cole played in the first two games of this Champions League run but has failed to figure since. He feels he has a debt to his team-mates and has sympathy for stand-in left back Mathieu Flamini, who picked up an injury in the Semi-Final, if he gets the nod.
 
"Of course I do owe the players but hopefully I can get into the team and play," said Cole "I feel sorry for [Mathieu]. He had a great time while he was playing and then he did his hamstring.
 
"But I have worked hard to get fit. I have won the Premiership twice so the Champions League is the only thing I have not won. It would be great to add that to my CV. It is one of the biggest trophies in the world
 
"We are the first London team to be there. It would amazing for the fans to win it. This season has been disappointing in the Premiership so to get where they are now is a great achievement
 
"It would be a great boost to go into the new stadium as champions of Europe."

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Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 17 May 2006