Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Celtic v Rangers: Joe Hart’s final career game looms in Scottish Cup final

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“The guy’s been unbelievable since the day he walked in the door,” club captain Callum McGregor said.

“He’s been a real pillar of strength. He came in and set the tone and I’m buzzing we can give him the send off he deserves.”

So as Hart prepares to play his final game, against Rangers in the Scottish Cup final on Saturday, how do we sum up such a rich career?

It was encapsulated in his role in getting Celtic to Hampden, in the shootout against Aberdeen in the semi-final last month.

Hart had the confidence to step up and take what could have been the winning penalty. He missed, with a smile – or perhaps grimace – and a wink to go with it.

However, he had the final word by flinging himself to his left to save Killian Phillips’ effort to send Celtic through. Resilience again.

“Whatever has happened, the one thing he has always had as part of his make-up is confidence,” Hart’s former Manchester City team-mate Shay Given told BBC Sport.

“You need to have that self-belief to have a career like he has done.

“As a goalkeeper you get plenty knocks, not just from your managers but when you make mistakes. It is a lonely position because you are out there on your own.

“Joe has made mistakes, like we all have. But it is how you respond and he has been brilliant at keeping a level head through good and bad times – that has never changed.”



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