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Phil Neville confirms retirement from football

ESPN staff
June 8, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Phil Neville made 505 Premier League appearances © PA Photos
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Former England, Manchester United and Everton midfielder Phil Neville has announced his retirement from football.

Neville, 36, lifted the Champions League and six Premier League titles with United, where he started his career, before ending it at Goodison Park.

The Englishman, who made 59 appearances for his country, 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!'''

Reports have suggested Neville will join David Moyes' backroom staff at Old Trafford, and he has confirmed a move into coaching is an option.

"I have got two paths," Neville added. "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.''

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