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Phil Neville announces retirement

Former England, Manchester United and Everton midfielder Phil Neville has called time on his playing career.

Last Updated: 09/06/13 at 10:31 Post Comment

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

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

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.

"I was speaking to Robbie Fowler about this the other week and he hasn't officially retired," Neville, currently coaching with the England Under-21 team at the European Championship in Israel, said.

"Three weeks ago, everyone in the world seemed to be retiring. I thought 'I'm not jumping on this bandwagon'.

"I just wanted it to be a smooth, quiet turnover. I didn't want that.

"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.

"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."

Neville, who has also been linked to jobs at Brighton, Stoke and Everton this summer, is currently in the process of finishing his UEFA A licence - a course he approaches with some advice from Sir Alex Ferguson in the back of his mind.

"He gave us a great lesson when we were doing my B licence, with Roy Keane, Gary, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs," he said.

"When you are a footballer at Manchester United, you are probably looking for a bit of a short-cut or can we get someone in to do the sessions for us, sign it off, and he gave us not a rollicking, but said 'no fast track to coaching or management'.

"'But we've got to go to Lilleshall for two weeks in the summer'. He said: 'Get it done'.

"'Can you phone the FA and ask if we can leave a couple of days early?' 'No, I want you to stay longer'.

"It was the biggest jolt that we had. We were thinking, we're are Manchester United. We know everything. He said: 'Actually you don't.'

"There's no short cut to being a manager or coach. He sowed the seed early on in our coaching career."

Phil Neville factfile

1977: Born January 21, in Bury.

1993: Joins Manchester United as a trainee.

1995: After coming through the youth ranks, makes his Manchester United debut in January, facing Wrexham in an FA Cup fourth-round tie. Captains United to FA Youth Cup title.

1996: May 23 - Makes England debut in friendly against China. Selected for Euro 96 but was not used at the tournament by England boss Terry Venables. Wins first Premiership title with United, and the FA Cup.

1997: United successfully defend their league title.

1998: Excluded from England squad for 1998 World Cup.

1999: Neville wins third Premiership winners' medal and United also add the FA Cup for another double which becomes a treble after a 2-1 win against Bayern Munich in Champions League final.

2000: Endures miserable Euro 2000 campaign and gave away penalty to Romania which sealed England's exit in the group stages. Wins another Premiership title.

2001: Wins fifth Premiership title.

2002: Left out of World Cup squad by Sven-Goran Eriksson.

2003: Wins sixth Premiership title.

2004: Earns 50th England cap at Euro 2004 in quarter-final penalty shoot-out defeat to Portugal. Unused substitute as United beat Millwall in FA Cup final.

2005: August 4 - Joins Everton for a £3million-plus fee, after making 386 appearances for the Red Devils.

2006: May 22 - Placed on standby for England's World Cup squad after West Ham midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker withdraws from the five-man list.

2007: January - Takes over Everton club captaincy following David Weir's move to Rangers.

October 13 - Wins the last of his 59 England caps against Estonia.

2011: August - signs one-year contract extension tying him to Everton until 2013.

2012: March - Joins England Under-21 coaching staff on a one-off basis for international against Belgium at Middlesbrough.

2012: December 26 - Becomes only the seventh player to record 500 Premier League appearances after starting against Wigan.

2013: March - FA confirms Neville will join the England Under-21 coaching staff for this summer's European Championships in Israel.

April 9 - Announces he will leave Everton at the end of the season after eight years with the club.

June 8 - Calls time on his playing career after 19 years at the top.


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