It’s been all Gary Neville today as his long-awaited testimonial plans have been confirmed and it has also been revealed that the former England and Manchester United defender will join the Sky Sports team from the start of the 2011-12 season.
Neville, 36, is well-placed to co-commentate and give his expert opinion on our live HD coverage of the UEFA Champions League, Barclays Premier League, Carling Cup and future international fixtures and he is looking forward to the fresh challenge.
“I am thrilled to be joining Sky Sports,” said Neville, who won 15 major trophies over a career spanning almost two decades.
“It has always been leading the way in football coverage. Now I have retired this feels like the perfect way for me to stay involved in football and I am looking forward to bringing my 19 years of match experience into television.”
Neville spent his entire playing career with Manchester United and in 602 appearances for the club, winning the UEFA Champions League, eight Premier League titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup.
He is also the most-capped right-back for England with 85 international caps to his name.
This could mark the turning point in an anti-United media as the likes of Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs come to the end of their careers and look to roles behind the microphone or in front of the camera taking over from Liverpool stalwarts that have hogged the television screens for years. The BBC have the likes of Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen while more recently they have added former Arsenal defenders Lee Dixon and Martin Keown to their punditry team. So with Neville becoming the first of Fergie’s fledglings to join a media outlet, don’t be surprised to see the likes of Nicky Butt or brother Phil to follow suit.
Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said: “Gary will bring vast experience at the top level of domestic and European football from nearly a decade with Manchester United.
“He will give our viewers great insight when he joins our team next season working on Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League and Carling Cup football next season.”
Described by Sir Alex Ferguson as “the best right-back of his generation”, Neville was part of the United squad which won the FA Youth Cup in 1992 alongside David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes.
Neville’s most recent appearance in the Sky Sports studio was at Millennium Stadium for the UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifier between Wales and England on 26 March 2011.
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