Sport Soccer

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Neville announces retirement

Phil Neville made 505 Premier League appearances in a 19-year career
Phil Neville made 505 Premier League appearances in a 19-year career

Former England, Manchester United and Everton midfielder Phil Neville has called time on his playing career after 19 years at the top.

Neville, who made 59 appearances for England, announced in April he was to leave Everton after eight years at the club. Initially he refused to rule out retirement, but has now confirmed that he will not be adding to his 505 Premier League appearances.

Neville said: "When I made a statement that I was leaving Everton, everywhere I went I seemed to be getting 'oh you've been brilliant'. I didn't like it. I didn't want to be seen as an attention-seeker. In my heart, I knew that I wouldn't be playing again - at any level. I just wanted to drift away."

He added: "The biggest thing I will miss is July 4 when Everton are due back for pre-season training. I loved that day. I lived for it, getting back with the lads. My wife, she knows what I'm like. She's saying 'For God's sake, don't have any more time off!'"

It does not seem that Neville will be moping around the house too much, though, with a move to join David Moyes' backroom staff at Old Trafford widely reported.

"If you had asked me two months ago, I thought I'd do a year with BBC or in the media," he said.

"It might work for some people but not me.

"I will be going to the World Cup next year with the BBC - I won't be going as a player! - I do enjoy the media side but I want to work, I want to coach, I want to get more hours on the grass.

"I have got two paths - one to go into the media, the other to go into coaching and management. I have got offers from both. I will sit down at the end of the tournament."

The 36-year-old has a Champions League and six Premier League titles to his name after a career that started at Manchester United and ended at Goodison Park.

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