Neville: I was ready to retire

The ex Manchester United full-back, 36, hung up his boots last

month after a career spanning 19 years and more than 600

appearances. And Neville said in an interview with MUTV: “It was a

struggle towards the end for me. “I was ready for it, when people

finish their career they miss it. I feel content and happy,

watching the games and enjoying it.” His efforts for United are

likely to be remembered in a testimonial match at the end of the

season, with an announcement due within the next couple of weeks.

But the former United captain does not miss the strict regime he

had to follow to continue a career at the top level of European

football for so long. He explained: “Hotel, rest, match, eat,

sleep. That was the pattern, you are institutionalised into being

like that. You have a privileged lifestyle but have to be

professional.” Despite not missing playing for United, Neville is

still a huge fan and was shown in amongst the fans during the 2-1

defeat at Chelsea. He added: “I just wanted to go and watch a few

games normally, we decided to queue up outside. I wanted the real

atmosphere and really enjoyed it. It was a different experience.”

Neville also backed up Sir Alex Ferguson’s recent quotes regarding

aiming for all three major trophies in one season – the last time

United did it in 1999 Neville played a huge part on all fronts.

However, he warned: “You never think about winning a treble –

you’re playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday and you don’t have

time to think about games that are six weeks away.” And he has been

impressed with striker Javier Hernandez since his arrival at the

club. He added: “He can play a big part – he’s got an eye for goal,

great movement, a little bit selfish and is always working and

chasing down. “It lifts the whole stadium when you see someone with

that talent working like that.”