‘Bucket-list’ Old Firm fixtures exceed expectations for Celtic keeper Joe Hart

Celtic take on Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-finals on Sunday.

By Press Association Published: 15 April 2022 - 3.49pm

Joe Hart admits playing for Celtic against Rangers has more than lived up to the hype.

The 75-times-capped England international has revived his career in Scotland following a spell at Tottenham where he struggled for game time.

Hart has been a key member of a Celtic team who could move one step closer to the treble when they take on Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-finals at Hampden on Sunday.

The 34-year-old won every major domestic honour in England with Manchester City, but he admits taking part in Glasgow’s derby fixture has been special.

“I’ve experienced some pretty special atmospheres up here so far and the Celtic-Rangers games have been everything that everyone hyped and more,” he said.

“I don’t really have many expectations in football, I like to live in the moment. But obviously it’s a world-renowned fixture, I don’t think there is any question about that.

“It’s certainly something I would have looked at when I was nothing to do with the Scottish league or Celtic, it was certainly one inside of football is talked about. It’s a bucket-list fixture.

“But it’s a different scenario when you are so involved in it in terms of playing and having a strong connection with the club that you are representing.

“They are special. People in my close circle who have watched me play all over the world have really enjoyed coming and being a part of it with me.

“But if you want to play in these type of fixtures, you need to have the mindset that it’s just another game. It’s another moment and another opportunity to play well and do some good for the club you represent.

“To have a 50-50 split with supporters at a great venue like Hampden is something that I am really excited to take part in, but it’s about what we do on the pitch.”

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