Gareth Barry 'Immensely Proud' Ahead of Record Breaking Premier League Appearance Against Arsenal

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Gareth Barry has admitted he feels "immensely proud" as he prepares to break the Premier League appearance record in West Brom's clash with Arsenal on Monday night.

The 36-year-old will play his 633rd game in the top flight if he features for the Baggies at the Emirates Stadium.

He will surpass the record number of appearances set by former Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs, and Barry has suggested that there could be more yet to come.

"I was 32 when I signed for Everton and (the manager) Roberto Martinez said, 'You're style of game - you can play until you're 40'," he said, quoted by Sky Sports.

"I'm sitting there laughing at him, but he was deadly serious, and I still laughed. It's still going to be tough, but for a manager to tell me that four to five years ago is a good compliment, which was nice to hear.

"I'm immensely proud to get there. Whether it will stay around for long I don't know."


Barry became a regular for Aston Villa having broken into the first team as a 17-year-old, before moving on to Manchester City and later Everton.

But he has admitted that it may be more difficult for the next generation of players to replicate his longevity.

"It's certainly harder for younger players breaking through now like I did," Barry added. "There's a lot more rotation in terms of selections now. So it may be tough to beat and the longer I can go it will be tougher as well. More so for my kids, I'd be proud for them to see their dad up there.


"You can speak about the money, they will be getting more at a younger age and there are a lot of dangers with that if you're not being advised properly.

"For a young player it's important to have people around you other than yourself. You're immature as an 18 or 19-year-old.

"I would have made big mistakes then as a young player and done things I would have learned from and I'm sure young players will now.

"It's important to have the right people around them and for players like myself, the older players, to advise them."