skip to content

An injury-free Gary Neville would have blitzed England record, says Paul Scholes

16 Feb 2011 16:46:09

An injury-free Gary Neville would have blitzed England record, says Paul Scholes

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. Sealed with a kiss: Scholes played with Neville for almost 20 years at Old Trafford The injury came a month after his 85th and final cap, appropriately enough at Old Trafford, in a friendly defeat by Spain. Given he was only 32 at the time, and Ashley Cole has only just broken Kenny Sansom's previous record of 86 England appearances, it is a fair bet Neville would have gone on to become the most-capped full-back and given Cole a real target to aim at. Instead, Neville received just one further call-up, for the World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra in June 2009, when he did not make an appearance. Call of duty: Neville was capped 85 times by England And for Scholes, whose own international career ended criminally early at the age of 29 and who turned down Fabio Capello's approach to go to last summer's World Cup in South Africa, it denied England the services of their number one right-back. 'We saw the other day that Ashley Cole broke the record for the most-capped full-back,' reflected Scholes. 'But there is nothing more certain than if Gary had stayed fit than he would have had more than 120 caps by now. '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.'  Retired Neville believes future is bright for United with bright Brazilian Rafael Graham Poll: Retired United defender Neville was a pain in the a***!Manchester United FC news from across the web  Explore more:People: Paul Scholes, Alex Ferguson, Gary Neville, Fabio Capello, Ashley Cole Places: Spain, United Kingdom, South Africa, Andorra, Kazakhstan


Daily_Mail

Sponsored links

advertisement

Related Manchester United News

advertisement

advertisment