Everton’s midfield stalwart Gareth Barry will be celebrating a personal milestone when he starts Saturday’s game against Middlesbrough. The match will mark his 600th Premier League appearance, and third overall in the all-time list. Fellow midfielder Frank Lampard has 609, and winger Ryan Giggs is at 632.
With the two players now retired, Barry has a chance to overhaul the record and take sole possession of top place. Of the 599 games he has played, 365 were for Aston Villa and 132 with Manchester City.
Even at 35, Barry is still an important cog in the Ronald Koeman gameplan, and this is what the manager had to say -
“He will be selected. It’s an amazing achievement to reach. He’ll be the third player to reach 600 games and to have played 19 seasons in a row is fantastic.
“He’s still an important player for us because he is a clever player and those type of players will always have respect and be important. You have to minimise the training intensity a little bit across the whole week to keep the player fit to play.
“I’m very happy that he’s still part of our Everton team.”
Club captain Phil Jagielka also had some high praise for the midfielder -
“As captain, he is someone I can rely on all the time, especially as we are in close proximity on the pitch. It is always nice to have dependable people in and around you in the defensive unit, and we have had that in the past couple of years.
“Gareth is cool, calm and collected. He doesn’t speak too much but, when he does, people listen. It’s more of a case of showing people how to do things right on the pitch and off it. He is so professional and if you watch him play he is definitely a great role model.
“We are delighted for him to keep breaking as many records as he can.”
Congratulations to Gareth Barry, and we are thrilled for him as he reaches this momentous occasion in his footballing career.