Gary Neville has retired that he quit the game he loved, not because he was set to replace Andy Gray as Sky’s chief pundit as many thought, but because he knew he could no longer contribute.
Neville retired from football with immediate effect this week, after spending 20 years at his one and only football club, Manchester United.
Having won 8 Premier League titles, 2 Champions Leagues and 85 England caps, Neville revealed the real reason why he decided to hang up his boots.
“After that game on New Year’s Day I felt I had reached the end. In fact, it wasn’t after that game, it was during.”
Neville was lucky not to be sent off in the opening minutes of the game, and looked off the pace throughout.
Gary added: “I had been thinking about it for a month or so before that. Sometimes you get a feeling in your mind that you just can’t go again and that time had come for me.
“In the previous two seasons I had played 25-30 games and there was always a period where I felt I was contributing. Once you have lost that, you don’t want to be a passenger.”
Alex Ferguson revealed that he will make sure there is a position as coach for Gary Neville and awarded Gary’s help for the younger players.
Ferguson told the press that Gary Neville used to help younger players with their contracts, and would be forever knocking on his door telling Fergie he could get this player and that player a better deal for the board. Ferguson said there were a lot of young players around who would forever be in debt to the former England defender.
Neville himself wants to take some time out before making a decision on his future. He said, “I have been working for a football club every day for 20 years. I definitely want to try and continue my relationship with this club, even if it is just as a fan.
“But I want to have 12 months to gather my thoughts. I don’t want to rush into another relationship quickly.
“I want to ease off a little bit and just relax. I need to chill out.”
Neville will remain at United until at least the end of the season to complete his coaching badges.