Hearts captain Craig Gordon poised to equal a European record against Istanbul Basaksehir

Hearts captain Craig Gordon will equal a club European record if he plays against Istanbul Basaksehir on Thursday evening. The goalkeeper would join Henry Smith and Steven Pressley on 22 appearances in continental competition, more than anyone else in Tynecastle history.

Last Thursdsay’s 2-1 win against RFS in the Europa Conference League was Gordon’s 21st European outing for the Edinburgh club, and he will be eager to add one more this week. Zander Clark is still awaiting a debut after joining Hearts as a free agent in September, and Ross Stewart is also competing for the goalkeeping slot. Gordon, though, is the firmly established No.1 despite being in the twilight of an illustrious career.

Now 39, he first played in Europe as a 20-year-old when Hearts memorably beat Bordeaux 1-0 in France in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup. He is enjoying a second spell in Gorgie and will add one more accolade to his collection if selected in Turkey for what is Hearts’ final Conference League tie of this campaign. He is currently level with club legend Gary Mackay on 21 European appearances, with former keeper Smith and ex-defender Pressley one ahead.

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Gordon has managed to play every competitive Hearts game so far this season, with the exception of August’s 2-0 Premiership defeat by Celtic in Glasgow. Stewart was between the posts for that match.

Gordon is already the most-capped Scotland internationalist in Tynecastle history following his appearance against Denmark at Hampden Park last year. He surpassed Steven Pressley’s total of 32 Scotland outings as a Hearts player that evening, and is now closing in on another record.

Hearts captain Craig Gordon is close to equalling a club European appearance record.