The Chelsea defender is set to be the latest player to make 100 appearances for the Three Lions, but says he is not concerned with popularity or "wanting to be loved"
The 32-year-old will make his 100th appearance for his country at Wembley on Wednesday night against Brazil, and says that while he may not get the praise that others do, it is not something he craves.
"Maybe I don't get the recognition and praise, but I don't want to sit here and keep going on about wanting to be loved," Cole told The Daily Mirror.
"You need character to overcome low points, yes. In football you can't always have it your own way. You can't always have the good times. You are going to have bad spells when you are not playing well. It is something I have to deal with. I have learned to deal with it.
"I am here to play football. That is all I want to do. I have been lucky to win trophies [at club level]. That is my aim. Of course I want to do it in an England shirt.
"I am proud to play for England - proud, privileged and overwhelmed. From being a little boy from the East End, you never think you would get a chance to represent your country.
"When I was a young kid, I never expected to play for Arsenal or England. To play for my country for the 100th time is amazing.
"I would be a little bit sad not winning anything for my country. [England coach] Gary Neville said he thought it was a waste of time playing for England because he has not won anything and I kind of understand where he is coming from.
"But the players we have here, a lot of them have won things and have the attitude we need to win. We all know we haven't won anything since 1966. All the players would love to do that. Even to get to a final and share it with the country would be a great achievement.
"But I'd never want to go to another World Cup just to be in the record books and play in six tournaments or four World Cups.
"If I am lucky enough to go, I want to go there to fight for my place and win something in an England shirt. With the young players coming through, I think we have a chance."
Cole also bemoaned England's lack of luck on the international stage, stating that he felt he had let the team down after missing in the penalty shootout defeat against Italy in Euro 2012.
He added: "When Wayne Rooney came through we thought, 'He is on fire. This is our chance to get some goals and win something.'
"We just haven't had that luck. We keep seeming to go out on penalties. Maybe if we beat one of those teams it would give us the confidence or we might have a bit of luck in the next game to go through.
"When it goes to penalties, you think, 'If we win this, we have got a chance in the next round.' Three times now we have been knocked out on penalties. At the Euros I definitely felt I had let the team down."