Paul Scholes believes old mate Gary Neville would have had 120 England caps if he had not been struck down by so many injuries during the latter years of his career.
Neville announced his retirement earlier this month after finally abandoning the quest to recover from a succession of problems, which began with a broken ankle he suffered against Bolton in March 2007. The injury came a month after his 85th and final cap, appropriately enough at Old Trafford, in a friendly defeat by Spain.
Scholes said: "We saw the other day that Ashley Cole broke the record for the most-capped full-back but there is nothing more certain than if Gary had stayed fit than he would have had more than 120 caps by now."
He added: "It's just a shame that his fitness wasn't right and now he has made the decision to retire."
As a fellow member of Manchester United's famed 'Class of 92', Neville and Scholes will remain in contact long after they have left Old Trafford, where Sir Alex Ferguson is still trying to persuade the latter man to remain for another season.
But there is a sense of sadness now Neville is no longer a regular on the training pitch.
"I grew up with Gary," he said.
"I have been very close to him over the years and it's sad really.
"I will miss him but what a career he's had as well; over 20 years at the top, winning the trophies he has, as well as all those caps for England."