Manchester United legend Gary Neville admits he’d have happily played for Premier League rivals Villa, Arsenal or Newcastle United – but not Liverpool.
Gary Neville has admitted that he would have happily joined Aston Villa, Arsenal or Newcastle United in the prime of his career – but never Leeds United or Liverpool.
Though, fortunately for a legendary defender, he didn’t have to make a decision about a move away from Old Trafford. Neville spent his entire career in the red of Manchester United, winning eight Premier League titles during a period of remarkable success under Sir Alex Ferguson.
But, if Neville had been forced to follow his younger brother Phil out of the door, there were a handful of clubs that would have tempted him. Though you get the feeling that Neville would have preferred to run a barefoot mile on broken glass than don the shorts of Leeds or Liverpool.
“If Sir Alex had said at 28 I had to go, I’d have said Newcastle, Arsenal and Aston Villa were the three clubs would be the ones (I’d have gone to),” the now 45-year-old told Sky Sports’ Off Script podcast.
“If you’d said to me in a perfect world in my years of playing in the Premier League, which clubs did I think were proper clubs and had a bit of tradition?
“In the Premier League it would be Arsenal – not that they would ever want me. I also like Aston Villa. Newcastle are another club (I’d have played for).”
“I would never have played for (Man) City or Liverpool or Leeds United in a million years.”
Neville’s comments will not exactly represent much of a revelation to fans of Liverpool, City or Leeds. A footballer who played with his heart on his sleeve never really hid his displeasure of United’s three biggest rivals with his badge-kissing celebration after a late Rio Ferdinand winner against Liverpool in January 2006 going down in United folklore.