Neville praises Beckham

David Beckham's global impact has been enormous says Gary Neville who has paid tribute to his former Manchester United team-mate on Sky Sports.

Last Updated: 16/05/13 at 17:42 Post Comment

The 38-year-old Beckham, currently at Paris Saint-Germain, announced he was quitting football on Thursday having made 115 appearances for England and 394 for Manchester United, winning six Premier League titles and the Champions League.

Neville played with Beckham for 10 years at Old Trafford and was in Paris to chat to his close friend on the day the retirement was revealed.

"You think about how much football has changed with the introduction of the Premier League and all the TV and he's been the most influential player out of England in terms of transforming football," Neville told Sky Sports News.

"He's played in Madrid, Los Angeles, Milan and Paris and has transported England around the world. It was something he was aware of and something he always wanted to do. His impact has been enormous.

"Every single new hair cut or clothing garment has always been followed. And we're talking in football and out of it. He was an Olympic ambassador, an ambassador for Chinese football and he's also a Sky ambassador."

The news comes just over a week after United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and midfielder Paul Scholes stated they would also be stepping down from the game.

"It's the end of an era and the most successful era of one football club with United," added Neville who stopped playing in 2011. "Fergie retiring was a huge moment in football, then Scholes and now Becks.

"It does feel like the end of a generation and the end of an era. Football goes on but you will always look back at this period and think of these hugely influential characters."

On the reasons behind Beckham's decision, Neville said: "I think he just feels it's the right time. He feels he's taken football as far as he can and he's been away from home for 22 years.

"In 1991 he came to Manchester and now he's got to the end of the road but he's ending on a high at PSG with another championship. That's four in four different countries which is incredible.

"You look back and you think what an amazing array of caps and medals and the longevity of his career. You speak to him and he just wants to be remembered as a hard working football player and that's what stood out during the chat I had with him. Plus the fact that he gave it his all and worked as hard as he could to be the best he could be."

What next?

The Leytonstone-born midfielder has played for United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan and PSG, lifting 19 trophies including 10 league titles.

Regarding Beckham's next move, Neville said: I've got no idea and I don't think he does either. He'll spend time with his family and he'll have some commitments and try to keep busy.

"He's spoken in the past about owing a football club but he's said he doesn't want to be a manager or go into media. He won't know whether he misses the adrenaline of football until July when all the players go back to training. Maybe we'll see him back on the pitch again in August!"

Beckham will complete his five-month contract in Paris and has two more games to go before the end of the season, concluding on 26 May at Lorient.

"He'll be emotional when he plays his last match and then he'll recognise that this is really it," Neville stated. "But it won't be just the match - it'll be the fact that he won't be going into the dressing room. He loved the banter and the camaraderie and he'll miss that the most."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

aha, as a German supporting United I can only agree with your great insight in German football! No idea why, but I HATE Eintracht Braunschweig and please don't ever place a bet on Leverkusen, they mess up my ticket every time!

utzelot
The Ten Most Hated Things In Football

M

ichael Owen's BT Sport commentary. Michael Owen's Match of the Day punditry. Michael Owen's annual moustache. Michael Owen's unwavering belief that Michael Owen could still do a job for England if called upon in the next major tournament

stevenjameshyde
The Ten Most Hated Things In Football

L

VG with Rooney up top. The 3 in MF being Blind, Herrera and Mata. Young on LW and Di Maria or Januzaj on the RW. You know it makes sense.

GVMUFC
Big Tactical Calls For Manchester Pair

Footer 365

Mile Jedinak will serve ban after accepting FA charge

Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak will serve a suspension after accepting a Football Association charge of violent conduct.

John Terry will be with Chelsea next season as Jose Mourinho issues guarantee

Jose Mourinho has guaranteed that Chelsea captain John Terry will be with the club next season.

Dave Whelan steps down as Wigan chairman with immediate effect

Dave Whelan has decided to end his 20-year spell as chairman of Wigan with immediate effect.

Mail Box

LVG Stick Needs A Little Context...

LVG's rough ride from the media needs some context - then you would understand, while the Mailbox urges Nabil Bentaleb to go down...

Henderson The Best Midfielder In PL?

Jordan Henderson is named by two afternoon Mailboxers as the PL's best midfielder, while another suggests Man United are trying to emulate Barca...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company