Hearts captain Craig Gordon reveals inspiration from Gianluigi Buffon after Hibs display
Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon is drawing inspiration from Gianluigi Buffon to continually thrive in the twilight of his career.
Following his latest display of defiance against Hibs, the 38-year-old admitted veterans like Buffon are an example of why top sportsmen can play well into their 40s.
Gordon intends to continue as long as possible and was outstanding in Sunday’s goalless Edinburgh derby at Tynecastle Park. Buffon, five years his senior, is still playing with Parma in Italy’s Serie B.
“It shows it can be done. I saw him sprinting the length of the pitch to join in a goal celebration the other day. I don't know if I've quite got that in the legs but it's definitely a motivation to see these guys still playing,” he said.
“It’s the same in other sports – the likes of Tom Brady in American football playing into their 40s. Quarterbacks can do that so there is inspiration out there for people to do it into their 40s. Why not give it a go?
“I feel okay at the moment, I just have to see how long I can last that out. I feel good as long as I get my training regime right. I've hardly missed a training session since I've been back at Hearts over a year and a half now. If I can stay injury free then why not?”
Both Gordon and Matt Macey produced a number of superb saves during the derby and the Hearts captain appreciated the efforts of his Hibs counterpart.
“Yeah, they're good saves. A couple in particular – the tip over that could have been the own goal and the shot from Gary Mackay-Steven as well. He's really quick to get down to his right hand side. He's probably anticipated and gone a little bit early to make a really good block with solid hands.
“I said that to him at the end, that it was a good show of goalkeeping at both ends that kept the score down. From our point of view, it was a good game.
“It would have been better if we'd won. You always remember it better if it leads to a win. It carries that little bit more significance but we'll have to take a draw. We wanted more from the game so it won't rank as high as the ones that we went on to win.”
Gordon’s dual motivation comes from both club and international aspirations. He played every minute of Scotland’s World Cup qualifiers against Denmark, Moldova and Austria in the last fortnight, recording two clean sheets before adding another in the derby.
“I love captaining Hearts, being back here and giving my all for this team. If I can keep doing that then I give myself the opportunity at international level,” he said.
“It's been a good last couple of results with a few clean sheets so hopefully we can keep that going on both fronts. It's pleasing but it's all about working hard and making sure it stays that way. I know what football's like; it can turn very quickly so it's back to work.”