Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughThe TFR Top 5 - Red Neville Moments - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough The TFR Top 5 - Red Neville Moments - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

The TFR Top 5 – Red Neville Moments

This week the world began the healing process following the retirement of former Manchester United and England hero Gary Neville.

Though many will look up G.Nev hanging up his boots as something of a blessing, in much the same way you would following the removal of a particularly troublesome veruca or nubbin like growth.

But it must not be forgotten that Neville represented a dying breed – the one club man who truly cared about the result whether he played or simply watched on from the bench.
And even more importantly Neville was a right back who, in his day, was capable of doing what now seems the unthinkable i.e. providing support in attack and cover in defence (take note Glen Johnson.)

Whatever your feelings about the great man, here’s our countdown of Gary Neville Top 5 most famous/infamous moments.

Euro 96 – England vs. Scotland, Wembley

Gary Neville first broke into the England set up in 1995 and though he was first choice right back for the national side over the next decade, arguably his finest moment in the white shirt came a year into his tenure.

Neville featured prominently at Euro 1996, playing every game up until the semi final defeat to Germany but it was his contribution in the pivotal group game against Scotland that sticks in the mind.

Whilst Paul Gascoigne’s delightful individual effort won many of the plaudits, few remember the Neville created opener. Moving down the right wing, it was Neville that supplied the pin point cross for Alan Shearer to put England ahead. A right back in his prime, doing what he does best.

January 2006 – Manchester United vs. Liverpool, Old Trafford

Later in Neville’s career, injury and competition for places saw the Bury born star’s opportunities for first team action reduced.

But when Gary did appear he was never far from the spotlight, often taking it upon himself as club captain to act as a cheerleader and spokesman for his players.

Whilst the recent celebration of United’s dubious last minute winner against cross town rivals Man City saw him gesturing at fans under the supposed guise of star jumps, it was his outburst against Liverpool which took the most headlines.

With the game heading for deadlock, Rio Ferdinand headed in an injury time winner to leave Neville jubilantly running to celebrate in front of the Liverpool away support.

The actions were condemns by opposition players and the FA subsequently fined Neville.

But for a man who undoubtedly had had to endure a torrent of abuse from Liverpool fans over the years and particularly, by all accounts, in that game, the £5,000 fine must have felt like money well spent.

And in a game where few players attach emotion to their club anymore, Nevilles’ wild gesticulating and badge kissing must have brought smiles to his home supporters.

May 2006 – Gary Neville vs. Rio Ferdinand, ITV1

In the aftermath of England’s turgid showing at the 2006 World Cup, many people were blamed.

But coaches and players aside, there was one thing that truly irked fans and pundits behind the England cause.

Rio Ferdinand’s World Cup Wind Ups was an ITV1 production aimed at showing the humourous side of those within the England camp and in particular the deceptive talents of Mr. Ferdinand and his supposed trademark catchphrase “you been mirked.”

Shown before the tournament started, it was only in retrospect that people began to see the programme for what it was, a vanity project which highlighted the egos and seeming lack of focus that would continue to undermine the England setup.

David James came across as pompous, Beckham was pampered, Rooney was cold and Shaun Wright Phillips…well he shouldn’t have presumed he would even be in the squad as he went on to lose out to a young Theo Walcott.

One man did emerge with some dignity intact and that man was G.Nev. When Neville was met by two actors playing policeman at his car in an underground car park, he was told that he would face a criminal fine unless he agreed to a photo and autograph.

But Neville stayed true to his man of the people spirit and refused (albeit smugly) to engage in any illegal deal. Realising that his prank had created timid results, Ferdinand emerged to much (fake) hilarity for all.

But the message was clear – Neville fought the law and he won.

May 2008 – Manchester United vs Chelsea, Moscow

Whilst Gary Neville may not have featured during Manchester United’s European Cup final triumph in Moscow, his contribution to the evening should be remembered somewhat fondly by fans of both clubs alike.

With just a final spot kick remaining, Chelsea’s John Terry had the chance of clinching a first European cup for the London club.

But a slip on the wet surface saw Terry miss and United went on to secure a penalty victory and another European title.

In the aftermath of the win, United players celebrated wildly but whilst few would have expected anything else from Neville, the right back was instead offering words of comfort and consolation to a visibly distraught John Terry.

Many have criticised Neville’s conduct before but it’s interesting how few remember his more positive pieces of sportsmanship.

May 1999 – Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich

It would be almost impossible to exclude a moment in Manchester United’s famous treble winning season from any players top five countdown.

And undoubtedly, it was the last gasp win over Munich which offers one of Neville’s finest moments. Gary made a huge contribution to what was a very special season for the club, featuring 34 times in the league and 12 times in the European cup.

Along with an inspired David Beckham on the right and Giggs on the left, Neville provided numerous assists for the likes of Sheringham, Cole, Yorke and of course Solskjaer as United took all the honours in a close fought season both at home and abroad.

For Neville there is unlikely to have been a greater night than that one in Barcelona – much like the popular film of the era, Titanic, Neville would have been forgiven for thinking he was indeed “King of the World”

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