Samir Nasri has insisted that his Manchester City teammate Joe Hart is still one of the world’s top five goalkeepers -- despite a spate of mistakes.
Hart was at fault when Franck Ribery gave Bayern Munich the lead in their 3-1 Champions League win over City on Wednesday night and some felt he should have saved when Arjen Robben scored the Bavarians’ third goal.
The England international has also erred this season for goals that Cardiff’s Fraizer Campbell and Aston Villa’s Andreas Weimann scored against his club and that James Morrison struck against his country during the friendly with Scotland.
Nasri, though, remains confident that Hart should be ranked alongside the likes of Bayern’s Manuel Neuer, Juventus’ Gianluigi Buffon and Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris as the game’s finest.
He said: "Yes, I think it's Neuer, Joe Hart and maybe Hugo Lloris because I play with him in the national team. Then Buffon too. [Iker] Casillas doesn't play anymore but for me Joe is in the world's top five -- easily.
"I am not worried about him. For the first time in a long time, England have a world-class goalkeeper."
City defender Micah Richards is confident that Hart will recover and return to his best form after the Bayern disappointment.
“He knows he could have done better with the first, but he will get over it,” he said. “Everyone goes through a time when they are not playing well. The criticism comes part and parcel, but he’s not to blame for this defeat.
“Me and Joe are very close and we all make mistakes. He will bounce back because he is a strong character. He is not to blame for the result -- the team were not good enough in all areas. He will bounce back.
“He is still England’s best ‘keeper. I know we have some real good talents but he is definitely the best.”