Fans will feel for Joe Hart after seeing what he was doing during England v Sweden

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Spare a thought for Joe Hart right now.

Although he made mistakes for England in the past couple of years and was a bit mouthy, there’s no doubt that he loved playing for his country.

Not being selected for Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad hurt him dearly, especially after helping the Three Lions secure qualification for this summer’s World Cup finals.

“Not going to lie, I'm gutted,” Hart said after the squad was announced back in May. “After two years of trying to make the most of a really tough situation, this is hard to take.

“I'm proud to have put in the graft and play every minute to qualify with the team and have a really important input in that outcome.”

Southgate’s decision to omit Hart, however, now looks entirely justified.

Jordan Pickford has been arguably England’s standout performer at the World Cup so far. He helped the Three Lions win a World Cup penalty shoot-out for the first time ever against Colombia and pulled off three magnificent saves in the 2-0 win over Sweden on Saturday afternoon.

Hart faces an uncertain future in football

That Pickford is performing so well for England must be even more difficult to swallow for Hart, who was once widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League but now faces an extremely uncertain future.

He will train with Manchester City next week but the Premier League champions have no desire to keep him on their books.

Hart must find a new club if he wants first-team football next season - but there doesn’t appear to be an abundance of potential suitors out there for the 31-year-old.

Hart, who endured a difficult loan spell with West Ham last term, could be forgiven if he feels totally disillusioned with football right now.

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What Hart was doing during England v Sweden

And there’s every chance that might well be the case after footage emerged showing Hart playing cricket - yes, cricket - while England were beating Sweden in Samara.

Per talkSPORT, Hart was playing for Shrewsbury - his local side - against Knowle and Dorridge in the Birmingham League Premier Division.

How did he do? Well, not very well, unfortunately.

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Hart batted at number nine in the order for Shrewsbury but was dismissed for just six runs. Nightmare.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he fared slightly better when fielding. He made a catch to dismiss Ethan Brookes, although his side still ended up losing by a wicket.

Clearly, then, the prospect of playing cricket was more appealing to Hart than watching Pickford and his teammates further cement their status as national heroes.

It’s hard not to feel quite sorry for the guy.

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