Gareth Barry has all the credentials to be an England captain of the future, insists Manchester City teammate Joe Hart.
In the expected absence of regular skipper John Terry, the 30-year-old's name had been touted as a potential stand-in when the Three Lions take on Spain at Wembley on Saturday.
Fabio Capello has since confirmed that Frank Lampard will lead the side out against the reigning World Cup and European champions, but that didn't stop Hart from talking up the Citizens midfielder's attributes.
"Gareth's the man, simple as that," he said. "He's someone I look up to [and] if you spoke to anyone who knew the guy, they would say the same.
"He does as you should and leads by example, no messing around; a very good performer every week, who never moans. Not a lot seems to go wrong for him, so he is always the guy you can look to.
"When you start to panic, look at Gareth and he just keeps on doing what he is doing - and doing the unselfish role he does."
Barry doesn't always receive the kind of plaudits given to other players in Roberto Mancini's star-studded squad at the Etihad Stadium, but Hart knows just how important he is to the team.
"However he is rated, I don't think he cares because all the people around him, who know him, rate him," he added. "[They] know what a massive role he plays at our club on and off the field.
"I think he does the same for England sides. We know who and what he is."
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