Joe Hart: England Legend
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart will win his 100th cap against Wales tomorrow.
The 32-year-old won his first international cap for the Three Lions in 2008, in a friendly against Trinidad & Tobago, and has been the established first-choice goalkeeper since 2011.
Now in 2019, he continues to serve the Three Lions with distinction.
He will receive a golden cap in the Millennium Stadium just before the match, commemorating his entrance into the three-digit-cap hall of fame.
The only other current international with more than 100 caps is aging captain Wayne Rooney, who boasts a vast number of 138 caps.
Hart plays for Manchester City on club level and has been a part of the Citizens since 2007, and took over the mantle as first-choice in 2010 following a successful loan spell at Birmingham. He has now amassed 381 Premier League appearances for the blue half of Manchester, and has also won two Premier League titles, two FA Cups, as well as a single Europa League medal.
Hart was also part of the England team who took over in the World Cup 2014, breezing through the tournament to eventually lift their second World Cup - their first win way back in 1966.
From a young, promising-looking teenager at Shrewsbury, Joe Hart has certainly blossomed into one of world football's global superstars.
Hart appeared in the pre-match press conference with manager David Beckham, confirming speculation that he would be named as captain for the night to celebrate his 100th cap.
"I don't know which one is better, winning your 100th cap or captaining England," the City stopper sheepishly admitted to the English press. "All I know is that both are brilliant, both are dreams I've only dared to dream of in the past, and that it's going to be a big night for me, a night I'm going to cherish.
"I have come very far in my England career, further than I've expected. I'm very happy every time I pull on an England kit and I'm delighted every time I get to play for the nation. I hope David will continue to pick me for every squad, because my next target is Peter Shilton's record of 125 caps.
"Shilton was a great goalkeeper for England, dare I say the best in our history, and to have the same number of, or more caps than him, would be fantastic. I think that would make me the best goalkeeper in England's history, and that's a title I've always wanted to achieve since I played my first game for Shrewsbury."
Beckham also heaped praises on his number one, revealing he had been following tomorrow's skipper even before his managerial career.
"When he joined Manchester City, I remember myself thinking, 'this Joe Hart is one to look out for'. Now here he is," smiled Beckham. "100 caps for England is a massive achievement, and I'm glad Joe's been able to accomplish it."
Hart also spoke about his club future.
"I can't see myself leaving Manchester City, not right now, no," Hart admitted. The goalkeeper has reveled as one of City's best players since they won the Premier League for the first time in 2012, all those years ago. However, his ability to continue as first-choice keeper came into question in 2018, as he began to show signs of age.
For the first time in his Manchester City career, Hart was transfer-listed.
But he was quickly back in the first-team, and went on to appear in every single Premier League game that season.
"I've sometimes had some disagreements with Michael (Laudrup, City manager)", Hart said. "But it's never been something that would escalate into a full-blown fight. He's a good guy and he's rather charismatic. It's hard to pick a fight with him. He has full faith in me continuing on as first-choice at City, so I have no intention of stopping either.
"I love Manchester City, I love the club, I love the fans, and I love playing for City. We've won very little here compared to Manchester United, but I wouldn't switch places with David De Gea if given the chance, because I love it here at City. As long as they need me, I will keep playing for them."