Aguero Is Tougher to Face Than Messi, Says Hart

The England goalkeeper places Aguero above Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez and Rooney as the toughest striker he has faced.

Published: 26th March 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th March 2015 05:05 AM   |  A+A-


Joe Hart has placed Sergio Aguero above Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney as the toughest striker that the England goalkeeper has faced.

Hart was described by Messi as "a phenomenon" after his starring Champions League display against Barcelona but, as a goalkeeper, he knows that everything could come crashing down to earth again when England face Lithuania on Friday.

"I could be the worst keeper in the world in one game's time," he said.

Hart has faced Messi and Ronaldo in the Champions League for Man-chester City over the past three seasons and, as he approaches what would be his 50th cap next Tuesday against Italy, is again training alongside Rooney. It is Aguero, however, who he has regards as the "toughest" striker that he has encountered.

"Just from working with him on a daily basis and from what I've seen this season, probably Aguero," Hart said. "He just knows how to score.

"In training he particularly excites you most days. A long clearance could turn into a goal because he's got that ability to take it round five people and score. Sergio is a very natural player."

And what of Messi? "I'm backing Sergio because he's my player. But Messi is a phenomenal player. He's definitely one of the best players I've ever played against."

Harry Kane is the leading goal-scorer this season in the Premier League but, when it comes to England, Hart still regards Rooney as the team's talisman. "He's our captain, he's our leader and he's soon to be the leading goalscorer for his country," he said. "He's won over 100 caps and he's our main man."

Hart's own performance against Barcelona has also re-established his status as England's main man in goal after he lost his place in the City team earlier in the season. He is still only 27 and is poised to reach 50 caps some four years earlier than Peter Shilton, who still holds the England appearance record of 125.

"Fifty caps would be an amazing milestone for me, but at the moment I just want to play," Hart said. "I've got a lot of people who want to be in my place and I'm going to have to be at my very best. I am an old man in this squad. If I'm not on my game then someone else will be and that someone else will be ready to take my place."

Hart was part of the England Under-21 team that reached the 2009 European Championship final and, despite Tottenham Hotspur's reservations, he is sure that Kane will be determined to play. "I'd imagine he would be very excited to represent his country in the summer," Hart said.

"There is so much to gain from playing in the tournaments apart from the sheer enjoyment of playing tournament football at a very high level against some very high quality players. I think we have all seen the blueprint of Germany. I am pretty sure the majority of the lads will be dying to be there."


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