Iker Casillas impressed by Joe Hart

BY foxsports • November 13, 2011

Legendary Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas was impressed by his first sighting of Manchester City's Joe Hart.

Casillas equalled the record for most Spanish caps, winning his 126th in the first half of a surprise 1-0 defeat to England at Wembley.

He forms part of an impressive array of keepers available to Vicente del Bosque, with Liverpool's Jose Reina introduced for the second half, Barcelona's Victor Valdes remaining on the bench and David de Gea, who cost Manchester United £18million in the summer, remaining with the Under-21s as there is presently no room for him within the senior ranks.

By contrast, England would be in a sorry state if Hart picked up an injury.

The 24-year-old was winning only his 15th cap and has still to finish on the losing side.

There is no obvious challenger for the number one slot in Fabio Capello's squad. And Casillas feels Hart is destined for a bright future.

"It was the first time I have seen him and I was quite impressed," said Casillas.

"England have struggled to find the right keeper but he is a serious player.

"It is important for Fabio Capello to have the confidence in the keeper for the whole side.

"Hart has proved himself in the Premier League with Manchester City. He is a very confident boy and he uses that in a positive way."

The former Shrewsbury trainee inspires confidence in the defenders around him, which helped England produce such an unexpectedly disciplined display against the world champions.

It ended a run of three straight defeats against Spain, which included a single goal reverse at Old Trafford in February 2007 which marked the start of their glorious runs through Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, erasing that tag of underachievers that had hung around their necks for so long.

And, in assessing the performance of a new-look England outfit, Casillas can see similarities.

"I would consider England to be where Spain were six or seven years ago," he said.

"They have a good mix of experience and youth."


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