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Joe Hart eyeing move abroad to revive career but accepts 'I'm not going to Real Madrid'

9 months ago
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While his career has dropped from some significant heights, Joe Hart still feels he will be "a good catch" for teams after this season.

Joe Hart understands he is unlikely to earn a move to a top club at the end of the season but is eager to go abroad if that means he can become a key player for a team once more.

Now 33, Hart has not played a Premier League game for Burnley since being dropped after a 5-1 home loss to Everton on Boxing Day in 2018, a match of which he "remembers every second".

Since leaving Manchester City, where he won two Premier League titles, he has represented Torino and West Ham on loan, while the goalkeeper with 75 caps to his name has lost his place in the England squad.

Hart acknowledges he may not be joining a side contending for titles when his Burnley contract expires but is more determined than ever to prove he has much to offer.

"It [my desire] has got stronger," Hart said to the Guardian. "This lockdown has made me realise how much I want to play football.

"I understand I'm not going to be part of Real Madrid. I don't think I've lost the ability, but I know how football works.

"All I want to do is be a big part of something. I just want to be a big part of a club and give my all to them. That hope burns through me."

Referring to his time at Torino, Hart added: "I enjoyed being part of that club. In terms of being in a different country, experiencing a different culture, playing a different league, I absolutely loved it.

"It's definitely something I'd love to do again. I believe there will be [clubs who want to sign me]. But they all need to work out exactly what the hell is going on [with the coronavirus pandemic].

"I like to think I'm a good catch. I'm on a free contract, I've got experience and real hunger. The Premier League has been great for me but I'm more than willing to spread my wings, I'm totally open [to playing abroad].

"I just want to play at the highest level I can. In England, I don't feel I am going to be able to do that."

Hart is to appear on a BBC programme on mental health to support a campaign led by Prince William.

"It is certainly my lowest point – I'm sad I'm not playing, [but it is] a challenge rather than a dark cloud," he said of his own situation.

"Mentally, because of what I've put in place when I was flying higher and winning leagues, I feel really comfortable talking about my head space. But I also need to speak because football is difficult.

"It is hard but I'm going to be on a programme with guys who have real problems.

"I want people who haven't experienced any adversity in football to learn from this. It's all very well riding the wave, but it won't last forever.

"Inevitably, it's hard to maintain. How we react is something I'm keen on trying to help people with – giving them the tools to deal with those situations. One of the greatest things for me is to help people."

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