EM SPORT: Injured Ace BUTLAND Tells HART: ‘I Want Your ENGLAND No.1 Jersey!’



The Stoke City star will miss Euro 2016 due to injury but has set his sights on becoming his country’s first-choice goalkeeper in the future

Jack Butland has warned Joe Hart that he is out to take his place as England’s No.1 goalkeeper.

The two shot-stoppers were set to battle it out for a starting berth at Euro 2016 but injury during a friendly against Germany ruled the Stoke City ace out of the tournament.

Hart has firmly established himself as first choice for the Three Lions but on the back of a superb club season Butland has been tipped to be his eventual successor.

“Obviously I wanted to represent my country this year, but these things happen and I need to stay focused,” he told Goal.

“Of course, I want to play for England as often as I can and at major tournaments. I’m doing everything I can to try and achieve that and that comes ultimately from playing well for Stoke first.

“That’s my motivation every weekend, ultimately I want to put pressure on Joe [Hart], it’s a long process but I believe if play like I have been this season I’ll be England’s next No.1.”

Having first played for England at senior level aged just 19 against Italy in 2012, Butland recently added two further caps following a fine start to the campaign for the Potters.

He replaced Hart at half-time in the friendly victory over France at Wembley and a place on the plane to Euro 2016 looked a formality.

But the 22-year-old is adamant he has no intention of simply settling on a bit-part role at international level and insists moving in front of Hart to become first choice is very much his ambition following his recovery.

“Hopefully there will be a tournament I get to feature in,” he added. “I get the best out of Joe and he gets the best out of me, but ultimately I want his place in the England team.”

Butland also lifted the lid on his relationship with Hart.

“It’s friendly rivalry that we have,” he admitted. “We are not best mates, we keep our distance to a certain extent, but it’s a good relationship I have with him.

“Every now and again outside of England camps we talk. We don’t live too far away from one another and my girlfriend and his wife get on well – we occasionally bump into them.

“I text him every now and again to wish him well for Champions League games. When we go away with England it’s a really good environment, we push each other and that’s a brilliant situation to be in.”


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