Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughGary Neville – The original 8 out of 10 performer - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Gary Neville – The original 8 out of 10 performer - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Gary Neville – The original 8 out of 10 performer

In the last 24 hours Manchester United’s Gary Neville has announced his retirement from professional football with immediate effect.

The first thought that came to mind was it was the correct decision. Anyone who has witnessed his last few displays for Man Utd would agree that his lack of pace was glaringly obvious and the niggling injuries that have hampered him over the last few years have left him short of what is required of a top flight defender.

The second thought I had was what a loss this would be to the game and what an example for young players Gary Neville has been.

Never the most naturally gifted defender in the way a Ferdinand, Maldini or Cannavaro was but someone who worked so hard to make up for any shortfalls he might have had. This is a player who hardly ever had a bad game for the most dominant team in England for the last 15 years.

Written off by rival clubs supporters as an average player who was lucky to be in the team alongside his brother Phil, through sheer work ethic and determination he made the right fullback spot his own, not only for Man Utd but also for England, winning 85 caps and cementing his place as the first choice for many years.

It was this work ethic and determination that should be followed by any young player in the game that wants to succeed at the highest level. For a supposed average player Neville has happily collected trophies galore:

• Premier League (8): 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2008–09
• FA Cup (3): 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04
• Football League Cup (2): 2005–06, 2009–10
• FA Community Shield (3): 1996, 1997, 2008
• UEFA Champions League (1): 1998–99
• Intercontinental Cup (1): 1999
• FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2008

As well as being named in the PFA ‘Team of The Year’ 5 times: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2005, and 2007

Yes he played with his heart on his sleeve, as I’m sure any Liverpool fan will happily tell you, as they watched him celebrate a goal at Old Trafford by running the half the length of the pitch and wildly pump his fists in their direction. All this did was to make him even more of an Old Trafford favourite.

Fans identified with him as one of their own. A hard working local lad who simply just wanted to win.

It is for these reasons’s that ‘average’ Gary Neville’ will be missed. An unsung hero and Old Trafford Legend.

Enjoy the retirement, you have earned it.

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