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Dublin: 7 °C Monday 30 March, 2020

Joe Hart: I don't hate Guardiola

Despite being sent out on loan by the Man City coach, the England goalkeeper insists he bears no ill-will against him.

Torino goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Torino goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Image: Valerio Pennicino

JOE HART INSISTS he does not “hate” Pep Guardiola despite being frozen out at Manchester City following the Spaniard’s arrival.

Hart was farmed out on a season-long loan to Torino in August after dropping behind new-signing Claudio Bravo and Willy Caballero in the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium.

The England international, who has maintained his position as his country’s number one despite leaving the Premier League, has impressed at Torino, however, and is enjoying life in Serie A.

He told Turin-based newspaper La Stampa: “I don’t hate Guardiola, these kind of feelings don’t suit with professional matters. But I’m here, this means I had no choice but to leave.

“Last August everything happened so fast. I’m grateful to Torino because they offered me a true, solid opportunity.

I grew up watching Italian football on TV, I visited the city before accepting and I liked it, and I got very encouraging feedback from people like Patrick Vieira.

“I am not thinking about the future. I just want to enjoy this season at Torino.”

Hart has been impressed with the quality of play in Italy and feels the standard is similar to that in the Premier League.

He added: “I don’t see too many differences between Serie A and the Premier League. Both are unpredictable leagues, where anything can happen.

The fans surprised me. I know that the stadiums are rarely sold out, but there’s still a great atmosphere. When we play at home, it’s amazing.”

Such is the impression made by Hart that a group of Torino fans went to support the goalkeeper when England played Scotland in a World Cup qualifier last Friday.

“I heard the chant,” said Hart. “The Italian accent surprised me… they made me feel special.”

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