Gary Neville has thanked Liverpool legend John Barnes for welcoming him into the England fold as a new call-up.
Neville made his England debut in June 1995 as a 20-year-old, starting in a 2-1 win over Japan.
He would go on to make a further 84 appearances for his country, with the last of his caps coming in 2007 despite a surprise 2009 call-up under Fabio Capello.
Neville, who once said that England duty sometimes felt like “a massive waste of time” because success with United was “always the most important thing”, says Liverpool forward Barnes was the only player who “made me feel so calm”.
“When you first go into the first team you remember the more experienced players who look after you,” he told Sky Sports.
“In my first England squads I think I was the only Manchester United player. Gary Pallister was injured and the rest hadn’t broken through.
“I remember coming down to the spa and talking to you for about half an hour. I was nervous as hell. You made me feel so calm.
“There were actually a couple of members of that squad – and I won’t name them – who didn’t make me feel comfortable.”
Neville claimed earlier this week that he “conned maybe me, the manager, David Gill into, ‘well, look there’s one more season in me’,” and that “in that last six to eight months I was at the club I felt embarrassed”. Poor fella.
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