Roy Hodgson praised Ashley Cole after the Chelsea man’s impressive performance for England during their 1-0 win against Denmark.
There has been been speculation that Cole, 33, could miss out on the World Cup in favour of Southampton youngster Luke Shaw, who replaced him at half-time at Wembley.
Shaw, 18, made his England debut and has been touted as a possible long-term successor to the left-back at Chelsea as well as for the national side.
But while Shaw showed his potential after coming on, Cole’s display suggested he still has plenty to offer.
And England boss Hodgson said: “I thought they were both very good.
“Obviously they’re different players, so there’s something to choose between them. But Ashley got forward and his defending was good, and Luke carried on in the same way.
“I wasn’t surprised by Ashley. I’m a great admirer of his. To play 107 times for England and be the best in the world for so long demands respect.”
Cole’s chances of making it to Brazil could perhaps be affected by his lack of match action at Chelsea, where he has lost his first-team place to Cesar Azpilicueta.
But Hodgson insisted: “I’ve watched him in training and he’s been unbelievably good.
“He’s very fit – right at the top of the running statistics – and there’s no question about his fitness.”