Joe Hart has emerged as the stand-out keeper of his generation, the undisputed No. 1 and a player who has been tipped to become the best goalkeeper in the world.
The pivotal point of his career came in August 2010 when Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini was left with the decision of selecting Hart as his first-choice keeper, or going for the experience of Shay Given. The manager chose to go with Hart, and he has never looked back.
A product of the Shrewsbury Town youth system, Hart made 54 appearances for his hometown club before being signed by City in the summer of 2006. Loan spells at Tranmere Rovers, Blackpool and Birmingham City followed before he came through to win his place between the sticks at Eastlands.
He also came through the England youth ranks and eventually made his debut for the full side against Trinidad and Tobago in June 2008. He went to the 2010 World Cup as third-choice goalkeeper but after the finals he moved above Robert Green to take the gloves.
Strengths: Great reflexes, good positional sense and is comfortable with the ball at his feet.
Weaknesses: His decision making still needs time to develop, and at times he tends to lose concentration.
Career high: Winning the Premier League title with Manchester City in 2012.
Career low: England's penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012, with Hart unable to keep out any of the Italians' spot-kicks.
Style: Energetic, athletic, a fearless young goalkeeper.
Quotes: "If you look at the top England teams of the past we have often had a goalkeeper that people have suggested is one of the best in Europe or, in the case of Gordon Banks, in the world. He produces the save that a normal goalkeeper wouldn't. That lifts your team higher up the league. It also gives confidence, which is another factor." - England coach Roy Hodgson, July 2012
Trivia: Joe, whose first name is actually Charles, danced around in nothing but a pair of cycling shorts and one sock for Saturday morning football show Soccer AM. Well worth searching YouTube for.
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