Re: International Matches Discussion Thread
Joe Hart wants Gareth Barry to captain England in Saturday's international friendly with world champions Spain at Wembley.
Regular skipper John Terry is not expected to play against Vicente Del Bosque's side as Fabio Capello looks to his other options with Gary Cahill and Joleon Lescott expected to start the game in defence.
And Hart has backed his Manchester City team-mate to take over from Terry's other main role and captain the team.
He told reporters: "Gareth's the man, simple as that; someone I look up to. If you spoke to anyone who knew the guy, they would say the same.
"He does as you should and leads by example, no messing around; a very good performer every week, who never moans.
"Not a lot seems to go wrong for him, so he is always the guy you can look to.
"When you start to panic, look at Gareth and he just keeps on doing what he is doing - and doing the unselfish role he does."
Another of Hart's domestic colleagues who will be hoping for a big afternoon is David Silva, the diminutive midfielder has been one of the stand-out players in the Premier League this season and Hart is expecting another top performance from him.
He continued: “He is a quality person, a quality player and I’d like to see him starting for Spain on Saturday.
"He’s called the 'magician’, isn’t he? Everything he does is very easy for him, he doesn’t have to pound the training ground looking to improve. He is a natural talent.
“He just glides through a game. There were some big players he came up against and you’d have thought he would struggle, that he would get eaten alive by some of those people in the Premier League but he just finds a way out, that speaks volumes for him.
"He doesn’t say much after games, he is what he is, a fantastic talent and a great person.”
Hart also took time to admire his opposite number for the game, Iker Casillas. The Real Madrid man is set to win his 126th cap at Wembley and Hart reserved praise for the 30-year-old and spoke of a desire to emulate the Bernabeu legend.
"He's an absolute legend, goalkeeper-wise, and he's still very young," Hart beamed.
"If you look at his story and what he's done with Real Madrid and with Spain, he is the pinnacle of goalkeeping at the moment, someone who you look up to.
"I'd be honoured if I got to play against him, to be honest. He's been at the top of his game, without question.
"He's won everything you can win, so he ticks all the boxes and is someone you idolise for what he is.
"He's the captain, too, stuff like that you don't just get, he is right up there. It would be amazing if I can be half the goalkeeper he is."