Joe Hart has nothing but respect for the Premier League goalkeeping union’s most senior representative Brad Friedel.
Sixteen years spans the two men who could well be in opposition when City take on Spurs on Sunday but they share a love for their craft and an enthusiasm that shines through everything they do.
The England number one was full of praise for 41-year-old American Friedel - who last May became the oldest player to appear in a competitive match for Tottenham.
“Brad’s a shining light and a great example. What he is done is pretty special, something I don’t think many people will be able to achieve,” praised Hart who was discussing the art of keeping as he signed copies of Champions Uncut at the CityStore in Manchester.
“He’s done great things and I don’t think age really concerns him.”
Asked if Brad’s record is something he would like to emulate with the Blues, Hart wasn’t prepared to look so far into the future
"At the moment, I just want to get to 26 if I’m honest! I don’t really look into the future that much – I never have done and never will do,” he smiled.
“Yes, of course, I want to play every game. I’ve got lots of years left on my contract and I want to fulfil them and hopefully carry on.”
Hart’s focus on the future doesn’t stretch any further than the Sunday special against Spurs when he is hoping the Blues can continue their recent run of stingy defending in the Premier League.
Roberto Mancini’s men have posted three clean sheets in their last four league games.
“We needed those clean sheets. We had been conceding too many - far too many for the kind of team that we are, but unfortunately that’s how football goes,” said Hart.
“Hopefully we can keep the run that we are in at the moment in the Premier League - concede as few and score as many as we can.”
Although Andre Villas Boas’ side have not been the most consistent so far this season, they can boast one of the best records on the road and Hart is well aware of the threat carried by their speedsters.
“They’re a good team, they’ve had a few different results recently, but when they play well they are a good team, just the same as us,” he concluded.
“They’ve got good striking options too with Manu Adebayor returning, but so have we, so I think it will be a good game. But I believe we can beat anyone when we are at our best.”
An ageless theory!