England’s, England’s number one…
Joe Hart has committed his long-term future to the Club, agreeing terms on a new contract at the Etihad Stadium which will run until the end of the 2018/19 season.
It’s a contract that will keep Joe at City until 2019, at which point he will have been at the club for 13 years.
He told mcfc.co.uk: “I’m really happy, I’ve been here a long time now and I want to keep that going.
“The new deal means I get to stay longer – the Club’s doing amazing things at the moment, we’ve created history and we want to keep doing that.
“Wanting to stay here was never going to be an issue for me - I’ve loved every moment since I joined.
I’m really appreciative that the Club recruited me when they did to bring me to the Premier League and to give me this opportunity.
“The Club’s growing and I’ve been really lucky to be part of the ride.
“I just want to keep winning with the team and keep developing. A lot of the boys have signed long-term deals, so we’re building as a squad and I think that quite a few of us have been here for a long time now.
“We’re enjoying building that winning mentality, how the Club is growing is around us and how we need to grow along with it.”
Since joining from Shrewsbury Town in 2006, Joe has been a pivotal member of the team in an historic period of success.
Hart has appeared on 276 occasions for City since making his debut against Sheffield United on 14 October 2006 and has cemented his status as one of the continent’s top goalkeepers.
Initially signed by Stuart Pearce, Joe was understudy to Andreas Isaksson and Nicky Weaver before heading out on loan for a couple of eye-catching spells at Tranmere and Blackpool in the 2006/07 season.
He returned to the club and featured on 32 occasions for Sven Goran Eriksson’s City side in 2007/08 and went on to win his first England cap on 1 June 2008 in a 3-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago.
Hart has since gone on to become the Three Lions’ undisputed no.1 goalkeeper, featuring at both Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, as well as at World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
Before all that, his true breakout campaign came in 2009/10 when the Shropshire-born stopper earned a place in the PFA Team of the Year for his exceptional performances on loan at Birmingham City.
Hart was also named as their Player of the Season.
That year-long stay in the Midlands convinced then-City manager Roberto Mancini to install the goalkeeper as his first-choice and this faith was instantly repaid on the opening day of the 2010/11 season.
Joe’s incredible showing against Spurs at White Hart Lane earned him the year’s Performance of the Season accolade at the Club’s end of season award ceremony – he also ended the campaign with his first major honour, the 2011 FA Cup and helped City in the UEFA Champions League for the first time.
The 27-year old has not looked back since that season, winning three consecutive Golden Gloves trophies - the award given to the goalkeeper with the most Premier League clean sheets.
The England international kept 17 shut outs in the 2011/12 season which played an instrumental role in the ending of City’s 44 year wait for a league title.
His reaction to Sergio Aguero’s winning goal against QPR in injury time on the final day was surely one of the most memorable.
Hart’s goal also remained unbreached on the final day of the 2013/14 season against West Ham to confirm City as champions for the second time in three years – the ‘keepers’ fourth major trophy of his career at the Etihad Stadium.
His excellent start to this 2014/15 season continued in the 1-0 victory over Everton a fortnight ago when he made an incredible match-winning save from Romelu Lukaku to confirm the three points.
That confirmed Joe as the first City player to take more than 400 points in Premier League matches he had been involved in.
To date, Hart has kept 109 clean sheets in his 276 appearances and has won 155 matches.
City v Crystal Palace
It’s City’s last game at the Etihad Stadium before Christmas and you can be here to find out if the champions can keep up the pressure on Premier League leaders, Chelsea.
Tickets are still available for Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off against Crystal Palace online at www.mcfc.co.uk/tickets, by telephone on +44 161 444 1894 (option 1, option 1, option 2)* and to personal callers at the Ticket Office above the City Store at the Etihad Stadium.
Book now to avoid disappointment!