Former England first choice goalkeeper Joe Hart admitted he is finding it hard to accept being omitted from the England World Cup squad by coach Gareth Southgate.
The 31-year-old — England’s number one goalkeeper at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cup finals — has suffered a dramatic fall from grace since Pep Guardiola sent him out on loan once he became Manchester City manager in 2016.
The 75-times capped stopper lost out to uncapped Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope, Everton’s Jordan Pickford and relegated Stoke City’s Jack Butland.
“Not going to lie, I’m gutted,” Hart wrote on Instagram alongside an image of the England crest.
“After 2 years of trying to make the most of a really tough situation, this is hard to take.”
Hart said he was proud of the significant role he had played in England securing their passage to Russia.
He played in nine of England’s 10 qualifiers, captaining the side at home to Lithuania and producing a man-of-the-match display in Slovenia to sneak a 0-0 draw in Southgate’s first match on the road.
“I’m proud to have put in the graft and play every minute to qualify with the team and have a really important input in that outcome,” said Hart.
“I know what I bring to the team, but it is what it is.
“Good luck to the team out there, the players know that even though I won’t be there, I will have my England shirt on as a fan this time and supporting all the way.”