Joe Hart says he is retiring to “take the pressure away” from Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers

Posted by

Joe Hart has revealed that ‘taking the pressure off’ Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was one of the key factors behind his decision to retire. 

The 37-year-old is calling time on a playing career spanning 705 club games, 75 caps for England and 12 major trophies, including two Premier League titles with Manchester City.

Hart enjoyed a late-career resurgence after joining Celtic in 2021, playing 153 times for the Hoops across all competitions, winning seven major honours.

The former Three Lions stopper goes out on a high after lifting a Premiership and Scottish Cup double but any temptation to stay on and enjoy more success was tempered by a desire to make the right decision for Rodgers and Celtic.

“There is nowhere else on the planet that I’d want to play football,” Hart told Premier Sports (via BBC Sport) following Celtic’s dramatic 1-0 cup final win over Rangers on Saturday, sealed with a 90th-minute goal from Adam Idah.

“I’m truly blessed to walk out with a big smile on my face. It wasn’t like that at one point so I am gonna take my win and run.

“I thought it [retiring] was the right thing to do. I wanted to take the pressure away from the manager and do the best for the club, because it’s about the club being successful and the people being happy.

“I’m just lucky I’ve been able to piggy-back on it.”

Rodgers hails ‘amazing leader’ Hart

Although the time has now come to find a younger goalkeeper to man the sticks at Parkhead, Hart’s experience will be hard to replace.

Following Saturday’s cup triumph, Rodgers praised the effect Hart has had on the Celtic dressing room, admitting he’ll struggle to replace the veteran goalkeeper this summer.

“He’s been an amazing leader in the changing room and he’s taken that onto the field,” said Rodgers.

“He’s the type of personality that is irreplaceable.”

More Stories Brendan Rodgers joe hart