Premier League

Neville hangs up his boots

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Sat, 08 Jun 2013 22:22:00

Brazil will complete their preparations for the Confederations Cup with a friendly against France on Sunday, looking to beat one of Europe's leading sides for the first time in three years.

European teams have seen them off in each of the last two World Cups and they have not managed to get the better of anyone from the east since beating England in 2009.

With Italy and Spain at the Confederations Cup, there will be a demand for that run to end, and captain Thiago Silva has tried to raise the stakes.

The Paris St Germain player is unhappy at the way his side are now viewed outside of South America, and even went as far as naming outspoken Englishman Joey Barton as a guilty party.

"People in Europe don't have big respect for the Brazilian people. I recently fought Olympique's Joey Barton for that reason because he spoke badly about our football," he said.

"We've been eliminated from the World Cup and we didn't have any other big competition to show our value.

"They see Spain, they see Germany, and they think they're over us. But this shirt deserves respect, it's the team with the most cups in history."

Boss Luis Felipe Scolari desperately needs a win, with just one success in the six matches since he returned to the job coming against Bolivia.

In the final training session before tomorrow's clash, the former Chelsea man experimented with the same 11 which drew with England last week, with the only change likely to be Marcelo replacing Filipe Luis.

Despite the lack of personnel changes, midfielder Oscar thinks there will be a difference in approach after a week of training.

"We showed big progress in the first half against England, and we're getting a style. Now we have to keep working and win some important games," he said.

Oscar is likely to be an important player for Brazil for years to come, and the 21-year-old thinks his time with Chelsea has helped him, adding: "In England I improved almost every aspect. English football never stops, I evolved a lot."

For France, Didier Deschamps should make two changes in defence from the side which lost 1-0 to Uruguay, with Adil Rami and Mathieu Debuchy starting.

"I watched Brazil's last game against England and they really have a lot of quality in attack with great technical expertise. They might have more ball than us," said Deschamps.

"I may try to reinforce midfield, but not only to recover the ball. The idea is to force Brazil to defend a lot."

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.

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."

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