Hart relishing Buffon battle
Joe Hart cannot wait to pit his goalkeeping skills against Gianluigi Buffon when England take on Italy in Sunday's Euro 2012 quarter-final.
Hart still has the clippings of an interview Buffon gave a couple of years ago, acknowledging the Manchester City star was destined for the very top.
The 25-year-old took the plaudit with a pinch of salt. But, in believing Buffon still to be one of the best around, Hart is eager to see how he measures up.
"I've got it in my house," Hart said of that interview. "I didn't take it too much to heart because it wasn't particularly about me and you're going to say nice things about any goalkeeper.
"But he is a huge name in goalkeeping terms.
"We don't get a great deal of access to him, which is a shame, because he has been a legend for years.
"I love the way he plays. He's got a great style about him, is in control of the situation, seems to have good mannerisms and makes the big saves when required.
"He doesn't go looking for action, which is key for a goalkeeper. The last thing you want is your keeper trying to take crosses 30 yards out or slide-tackling people.
"He just does his thing and is very good at it. I'm really looking forward to playing against him."
Former England keeper David James has already labelled Hart as the world's best.
And should the last-eight tie end up being decided on penalties, the former Shrewsbury man would have the perfect opportunity to prove it.
However, Hart believes the whole shoot-out scenario is "a lottery" he would be happy to skip.
"I'd prefer to win the game properly," he said. "I want us to play well, be solid, not concede and score, then we don't need to worry about penalties.
"Penalties are a lottery and I've not got a magic answer.
"And regards the blame and people saying it's not your fault, if you lose it means you're out the tournament. That's your worst nightmare."
Hodgson has pledged England will increase their spot-kick practice, although Hart is sceptical how much good it will do.
"You cannot recreate a penalty shoot-out in a major tournament," he said. "It's totally impossible."