Joe Hart was delighted to keep the 42nd clean sheet of his England career as the Three Lions resisted a Brazil team full of attacking talent in Tuesday’s friendly draw at Wembley.
Hart has a good record against five-time World Cup winners Brazil, having never lost to the South Americans in three meetings – and saving a penalty from Ronaldinho in 2013 – so a second draw of the week to follow up Friday’s goalless stalemate with Germany represented a good international period for the 30-year-old.
He had to watch from the sidelines as his young deputy Jordan Pickford was given the chance to shine against Germany, but Hart was ready to reclaim his place between the posts for his 75th cap against Brazil, saving well from Phillippe Coutinho and with his chest from Barcelona's Paulinho late on.
He explained: “I’ve got to use everything that’s in my armoury and that last one he hit it hard. I felt that if I tried to adjust and use my hands it would have gone through me, so I just knew my angles and threw my body at it.
“Of course it was important to keep a clean sheet. [We’re building] momentum and the lads performed well in front of me and they didn’t give me much to do.
“It was certainly a night where we had to dig in. They are a fantastic team with so much attacking threat, but we minimalised their chances, and I had to be there when they did get them.
“It doesn’t put any extra pressure on me that I was the most experienced player on the back line, because there’s no pressure when you’ve got the quality that I’ve got in front of me.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, all the greats in the game had to start at some point and I’m sure they were brilliant when they started. We’ve got people who are young in age, but they’re in one of the most competitive leagues in the world and they’re performing well for their country.
"The only way we can get people back on our side, is by performing as we have, showing guts, determination and will to play for our country, and turn that into wins.”