What do Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho have in common? That’s right, they’ve both found Joe Hart to be a thorn in their side.
The goalkeeper, who now plays for Scottish giants Celtic, spent 12 years at Manchester City where he made 348 appearances and won 75 caps for England and faced the world’s best players.
YouTube: EnglandHart pulled off a heroic penalty save to deny Ronaldinho in 2013, before saving the rebounded effort[/caption]
YouTube: EnglandThe Brazilian legend looked stunned as to what he had just witnessed[/caption]
In those peak years of his career, the now-36-year-old was simply unbeatable on his day.
In 2013, England hosted Brazil in the first-ever match at the brand new Wembley Stadium, a fixture the Three Lions won 2-1.
However, it’s a night remembered for Hart’s heroics having managed to deny Ronaldinho from the penalty spot with a wonderful diving save.
Not only that, but he also kept out Neymar’s rebounded effort, much to the bemusement of the Ronaldinho who couldn’t believe what he had witnessed.
But Hart’s heroics against Brazil were no fluke, something he showed two years later in 2015 when facing Barcelona in the Champions League.
Man City were down 2-1 down going into the second leg at the Nou Camp and in that decisive clash, Hart pulled off no less than 10 saves to keep Barcelona out, including a penalty save to deny Lionel Messi and limit the Catalan side limited to just a 1-0 win.
The Argentine superstar, who is widely renowned as football’s greatest ever player, was full of praise for Hart after the game, saying: “He saved everything.
“We had a lot of clear chances but the keeper had a brilliant game.
Hart definitely relished facing Messi and came out on topGetty
The Man City goalkeeper left everyone associated with Barcelona stunned at how they didn’t scoreGetty
“We can only congratulate him, but the important thing is we achieved our objective to get through.”
Barcelona’s boss, Luis Enrique reiterated that point, saying: “The score could have been a rout. Hart was incredible.
“We had a lot of chances, which is not normal in this type of game. We deserved to win by a bigger goal difference.”
After helping Celtic to the treble last season, Hart will have aspirations of enjoying another big season in Glasgow.
As well as eyeing success in the three Scottish competitions, the 36-year-old will be featuring in the Champions League once again with the Bhoys drawn against Feyenoord, Lazio and Atletico Madrid in the group stage.
While the fierce atmosphere at Parkhead will be a huge tool in helping Brendan Rodgers’ side as they they look to progress, they’ll no doubt be looking to Hart to inspire them to glory.
After all, he’s been there and done it many times before.