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Barry 'proud' to reach PL milestone

21 September 2017

WEST Bromwich Albion's Gareth Barry is set to make history on Monday evening and become the Premier League's all-time leading appearance maker.

Should he feature for the Baggies against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, Gareth will move onto 633 Premier League appearances and surpass Ryan Giggs' previous record of 632.

The England international will reach the milestone in the famous blue-and-white stripes after top-flight spells at Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton.

And the veteran midfielder admitted he could never have dreamed of achieving a feat as significant as this one.

"When you make your debut as a young kid you're never setting yourself a target like this. Even when you play 500 games you think you're coming to the end of your career and you're not expecting to play many more games."

Gareth smiled: "When I think back to playing my first game to hitting this number I'm about to reach, everything seems to have gone so quickly in between.

"It's certainly something that when I do end up finishing I'll sit back and be really proud of. I'll try and take in what's happened in between a little bit more!

"I'm really proud to have been able to keep going. I think it's helped me to take it a season at a time and keep myself in the best shape I can."

But how do you motivate someone who's played the game for so many years, won the Premier League, won the FA Cup and represented his country over 50 times?

With ease, says the man himself.

"There's no better feeling than running out there with your teammates and trying to win a game of football," Gareth continued.

"Any ex-player will tell you that it's a great feeling when that final whistle goes and you've won a game of football together as a team.

"I'm going to miss that when I do finish, so while I still can be involved in a top league with a team like West Brom I'm going to keep enjoying it."

But make no mistake, Monday night will be all about West Bromwich Albion and getting three Premier League points.

"The number I'll achieve is an indidivual one. Football is a team game.

"My family will be at the game but there won't be a smile on my face after anything other than a positive result!

"As crazy as it sounds after all these years, my focus will be on winning the game."


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