Joe Hart has talked about the impact being snubbed by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola – which led to the goalkeeper’s exit from the club – had on his mental health.
The former England stopper, 33, fell out of favour upon the Spanish coach’s arrival into Manchester in 2016, with Guardiola favouring Claudio Bravo over him due to the Chilean’s ability with his feet.
Hart, who is now at Burnley, made the admission in a conversation with the Duke of Cambridge in a programme called ‘Football, Prince William and our Mental Health’ which airs on BBC One on Thursday evening.
Asked by the Prince what had been the biggest whack he had endured in his career, Hart said: “It will sound pathetic but it’s the truth, it’s not playing and not being wanted.
“Things happened with the new manager at Manchester City, probably the most important manager in the world.
“He didn’t even necessarily not like me, he just had a certain aspect which he didn’t feel I was up to, and it kind of dropped from there.”
Hart admits his current struggles to break into the first team at Turf Moor is also tough, but says he is treating it as a “challenge”.
“It’s certainly the lowest point of my footballing career but it’s not a dark cloud,” he said.
“I’m comfortable with what’s going on. Yeah I’m sad, yeah I’m disappointed that I’m not playing, because I know what I want to be, I know where I should be, I know what I can bring to the game.
“At the moment I’m not being picked, simple as that. You know, at school, not being picked…and that’s hard. I feel like right now could be a real dark time for me, but it’s not, I see it as a challenge.”
The Prince, who is president of the Football Association, is heavily involved in the organisation’s ‘Heads Up’ campaign which works to promote around mental health awareness.