Legends: Gary Neville Player Profile

Gary Neville

Started out at the youth team in 1991, and made his appearance for the first team in 1992 in that UEAF cup game v Torpedo Moscow. One of a hand full of players who have only played for United throughout there career, known as Fergie’s Fledglings and is now one of the ‘Old Guard’ along with Scholes and Giggs.

He will be spending the remainder of his career here, having signed an extension in early 2004, and in 2008 it runs out. For a player who has been at United for 17 years, he has earned legendary status. His game play, love, determination and all round passion for Man Utd, has made him one of Man Utd’s favourite players.

He may not have had the flair or even the face that would have ordained him with thousands of fans, but he is truly one of them players who earned his respect, who was truly loyal to Man Utd and got his rewards in accolades and the captain’s armband upon Keane’s leave, was it ever in doubt?

During his time he has been a crucial part of the 6 league championships, three FA Cups and the European Cup. The League Cup final win was Gary's first as a captain, and the pride on his face shone through. Although people may argue that cup isn't worth much, it is worth everything to Gary and ten times more. He recently said in his interview, he would give anything to just be a part of that 1999 achievements and get that feeling again, just for the fans. To ride on that open top bus, and see us, the United faithful line the streets of Manchester, and welcome the heroes back, just like we did in May that year.

Gary Neville

People were always wary whether he was a world class full back, and that is a tag he has never really been given, but I think he is. He has shown that. He is world class. His performances show that, and if you love stats, they do to. His appearances in a United shirt down the years have certainly made him to be a class player, not just with the accolades but the way he loved to bomb down the flanks, first with Beckham and now with Ronaldo alongside him.

Neville's burst for the attacking pleasure cannot be doubted, he loved to overlap, get a cross in which would test the best of keepers, and the happiness on his face when someone got on the end of it, well I will never tire, the clenched fist, and the awe on his face. He is truly a player in a fans soul. The love he has for United is equal to the love us fans have for United.

Neville has certain attributes which have made such an accomplished right back, his speed and awareness, agility and above all the experience. Even against the toughest of opponents, Neville has outwitted them and contained them. Although he is brilliant going down the wing, he is just as good defensively. The balance he has between where he needs to be and what needs doing is truly mesmerising. If ever there was a need of a right back who is accomplished and reliable, Neville is at the forefront.

Gary Neville

I would argue that of this era, only Cafu is ahead in him in terms of the best right back in the world. He took over from Parker at United, and never looked back. Phil Neville and Brown often played as back up, but there was always something missing.

Beckham's success was not achieved alone, the assistance he got from Neville both in the red of United and in an England shirt cannot be denied, Beckham's downfall at Madrid can be said to be his lack of defensive qualities, something he never really needed at United as there was always the reliable Neville there.

When all the players were coming through the ranks, Neville was often perceived as the quiet one. However, his outspoken views against the Scousers, and his love for United, show that he is really a lion at heart.

No doubt he to will remain loyal to United when he leaves, a real fan, a Mancunian through and through.

Players come and go, legends always remain.

United now in on verge of winning their first Premiership title in three years, and who better to lead them than Gary Neville.