Brendan Rodgers feels that Joe Hart will be sorely missed at Celtic, both for his ability as a goalkeeper and for his qualities as a person.

The Celtic manager paid tribute to the former England number one ahead of his last game at Celtic Park, with the 37-year-old having made the decision to retire from professional football following the Scottish Cup final at Hampden against Rangers next week.

Rodgers says that it will be a hugely difficult task to replace Hart between the sticks and in the Celtic dressing room, and he is hoping he can cement his status as a club legend by helping the team to a domestic Double.

“He’s been a remarkable player throughout his career,” Rodgers said.

“Seventy-five caps for England, the various other clubs he’s played for and the honours that he’s won.

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“I was really looking toward to coming in and working with Joe. I felt when he came here three years back that it would be a great move for him, as he hadn’t been playing so much and his career was maybe not moving how he would have wanted it to as he was getting towards the end.

“But to come here he’s been reinvigorated. He’s just such a great guy. For 37 years of age, he comes in every day to try and impress and let people judge him like it’s his first ever day.

“He’s been a real leader in the changing room with Callum (McGregor). Callum has been absolutely incredible as a captain, but you need people alongside you as well to drive the messages through, and Joe has been very strong in that.

“He’ll be sorely missed, because as I said, he’s a good guy, and I know after he finishes he’ll look back on this spell and he’ll only see it as being a huge positive for him.

“He’s loved and adored by the supporters. They see he’s a genuine guy who has given his all to Celtic, and let’s hope in these next couple of games we can finish off his story and he can go off into the sunset successful, and as a legendary Celt.”

Hart has arguably been in his best form as a Celtic player since he announced his retirement decision, but Rodgers hasn’t been tempted to persuade the veteran to change his mind.

“No, I think it’s the time,” he said.

“I’ve had this before, I had this with Jamie Carragher. Jamie was my best centre half. He was 35 years of age, but when he was in the team, he was so good, he gave the team what it had lacked in my first season there.

“I brought him into the team, and it was a wee bit of a similar thing. There were two centre halfs playing in front of him and he was coming towards the end of his career and was seeing out his last year.

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“But I saw Carra in training every day and I could see the qualities he had, so when I put him in, he made the team better.

“But by the end he was ready, he was going into his role with Sky and he finished off on a real high.

“Joe is exactly the same, he will go on to have a have a successful career outside of what he is doing, but he is finishing in the way that you would want to as a player – going out strong, going out winning.”