Former England goalkeeper Joe Hart has revealed the effect not feeling wanted by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola had on his mental health, and says he is currently going through the "lowest point" of his career.
Hart, 33, fell out of favour under the Spanish coach in 2016, with Guardiola favouring Claudio Bravo primarily because he felt his fellow Spaniard's ball-playing skills were stronger to build from the back.
Hart, who is now back-up goalkeeper at English Premier League club Burnley, made the admission during a conversation with the Duke of Cambridge in a BBC television program called 'Football, Prince William and our Mental Health'.
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 awareness around mental health issues.
Australian Associated Press