Joe Hart looking forward to ending 6-year career wait at Celtic

By John McGinley

July 10, 2022

Joe Hart is excited to take part in the UEFA Champions League with Celtic this autumn, ending a six-year wait to feature in the competition.

Hart last played in the tournament back in the 2015/16 edition, when Manchester City reached the semi-finals only to be narrowly knocked out by Real Madrid.

Now, after winning the Scottish Premiership with the Bhoys, the English goalkeeper goes straight into the group stages as Celtic’s number one. It’s an experience he will relish.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Speaking to The Daily Record, Hart said: “Getting into the Champions League with Man City when we had never done that before was a big achievement. Then we went from playing in it to competing in it. We got to the semi-final one year. The last time I was in the Champions League was 2016, and the semi-final against Real Madrid was my last game.

“The Champions League doesn’t exclude you, either get in it or you don’t. We’ve earned the right this year, so we’re going to look to build on the fact we’ve earned that right and compete in it.

“We’re in a business where money exists, so you don’t moan about it, we get on with it. We’ve built the best possible squad we can with the best mentality, and we’re going to play the best team football that we possibly can. However that ends, it ends with us walking in being proud of what we’ve done.”

Hart will likely be a crucial component of Celtic’s tough Champions League task.

With the expectation of a brutal draw, I’m sure opposition teams will have plenty of chances in front of Hart’s goal.

We know he can pull off a stunning save or two and that will be something we might have to rely on to get through these fixtures with positive results.

It’s also vital he gets up to speed with the passing into the defensive line too. At times that was an issue last season and it’ll only be more difficult against a team with a more intense press.

Hart’s performances need to be strong for us to do anything in this competition. He knows that though and as he has made clear, he won’t be complaining.

In other news, The Champions League reality facing Celtic that critics will conveniently forget.