Joe Hart has been backed to become the next England captain by his two Manchester City team-mates.

Fellow England internationals James Milner and Gareth Barry both believe Hart would be the ideal candidate to take up the armband going into the Euro 2012 finals. Their support comes following last week's decision by the Football Association to strip John Terry of the captaincy, an issue that ultimately led to Fabio Capello's departure as manager.

Although the FA have yet to appoint a new manager, Milner and Barry feel any new man should consider Hart for the skipper's role, and - although Hart is only 24 and seemingly lacking the experience of other candidates - Barry said: "I'd give it to Joe, my friend. Harty has been fantastic all season."

He added: "It wasn't just against Villa (yesterday) that he's made a world-class save, he's done it in a few games. That is why he is being talked about as one of the best in the world."

Milner also feels Hart could fulfil the role.

He added: "It's nothing to do with me in terms of the decision. But he is a great character, he talks, he is not afraid to say what he thinks.

"I'm sure he is going to be England's number one for a long time, so he is as good a candidate (for captain) as anyone."

As to Hart's talent, Milner added: "He has been absolutely unbelievable for us this season.

"He's a world-class goalkeeper, definitely one of the best I've played with, and he is going to get better and better as well."

City were indebted to Hart for producing a wonderful reaction save to deny Darren Bent in injury time to give them a 1-0 win at Aston Villa on Sunday that sent them back to the top of the Barclays Premier League.

Source: PA