RONALDO CHANGED GNEV

The Manchester United defender Gary Neville has said that he has changed his outlook football after playing with the Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo. The 27-year-old Real Madrid player was at the peak of his powers during his time at Manchester United. He had come on at the club as an 18-year-old, who was only known for dribbling.

However, he developed his all-round game to such an extent that he won the world player of the year award before leaving the club for a world record transfer fee of £ 80 million in 2009. He had managed to win all the major trophies with Manchester United before leaving the club.

Gary Neville, who spent his entire career with Manchester United, has said that he changed the outlook of football after playing along with the Portuguese. Neville has revealed that Ronaldo was an extreme source of frustration for him during his early part of the Manchester United career. Neville had previously played with the likes of David Beckham before being acquainted with Ronaldo on the right wing. Ronaldo was consistently accused of falling over at the slightest contact, but years of playing for Manchester United made him a complete player. Neville said that he had to learn from the Portuguese during the final years of his United career.

“I can’t believe anyone has ever seen anything as extraordinary in the Premier League. I know we have had Thierry Henry, Eric Cantona and Gianfranco Zola – and perhaps Henry in his prime came closest – but for two years this was a player on another planet, the best in the world. He would prey on the weak. He is an absolute bully, as Maicon found out for Manchester City in the Bernabeu this season,” said Neville. Neville has started working as a pundit for Sky Sports after his retirement.

NEVILLE SALUTES SCHOLES

The former Manchester United defender, Gary Neville, has said that Paul Scholes is a great player and his commitment to the club over the years is worth a salute. The energy level that he shows even at this age is fantastic. It’s not easy to maintain the fitness once you get past 35. But, Scholes hasn’t let his age affect his game.

Scholes has recently played his 700th game for United. He has been a regular member of the United team since the last 19 years, which has made him public enemy number one according to one Liverpool fanzine. He has played only for United in his entire career. He had joined the club way back in 1993. He had played his first match for United against Port Vale in a match of the League Cup. He had scored two goals in his debut match and caught the eye of everyone.

Scholes got very few first team opportunities in his debut season for United. But, at the start of the 1995-96 season, Mark Hughes left United and Scholes started getting regular playing chances. After that, he never looked back and established himself as an integral part of the team.

Scholes decided to retire from professional football in August 2011.After the retirement, he was appointed to United’s coaching staff. But, in January 2012, when United was struggling with the injuries of many senior players, Scholes decided to withdraw his retirement and he played for United again. He performed pretty well in the second half of the last season and his contract was extended for the next 1 year in May 2012.

Neville said that Scholes is a role model for the young players. The way he has kept himself composed over the years is incredible. You would have hardly heard his name in any controversy. He focuses only on his game and that’s why, he is such a successful footballer. Hopefully, he would win more matches for United in the ongoing season.

NOT CRUMBLING

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has said that it is essential that the club needs to prove that the empire is not crumbling. Manchester United have enjoyed some of the best moments in the history in the last two decades after they have lifted numerous titles under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson and with the presence of players like Gary Neville.

The defender recently announced his retirement from professional football. Manchester United failed to lift any trophy for the first time in four seasons last season. Many have been predicting that this is the start of the decline for Manchester United due to the arrival of players like Manchester city and Chelsea.

Manchester United successfully weathered the storm from Chelsea in 2005, but due to the fact that they now have to contend with both Manchester city and Chelsea, it will be tough to do so according to many. Gary Neville believes that Manchester United should not allow an empire to crumble in the way that many predict who happen in the next few years. One of the reasons for such a prediction is the lack of transfer funds provided by the club’s owners, while Sir Alex Ferguson has not criticised the actions of the same.

“The challenge this season is always the same. It’s to win the Premier League, do well in the cups and do well in the Champions League. That challenge never changes. But, obviously, when you don’t win anything you have an added incentive because people start to question the team and wonder if the empire is crumbling. United now have an opportunity to put things right,” said Gary Neville on the official website of the club. During his playing days, Gary Neville has won every major trophy at club level with Manchester United.

BALOTELLI IS A THREAT

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has said that the England players should be warned enough about the threat posed by the Manchester city striker Mario Balotelli ahead of the match with Italy in the quarter-finals of the Euro 2012.

England will be facing Italy in quarter-finals of the competition after their qualified from their group as the winners ahead of France. As a result, they will not be facing current world champions Spain in the quarter-final stage, which in itself is a major boost according to former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, who has travelled with the England national team as part of the coaching staff.

The experience of the 37-year-old has been extremely crucial in the first three matches of the campaign. England have been able to defend bravely and in great numbers due to the experience offered by the former Manchester United defender. They are expected to once again put in a very tight and defensive display against Italy. The 2006 World Cup winners are expected to start with Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli up front, and the England team should be warned enough about the talent of the 21-year-old. Antonio Cassano is expected to start from the bench.

“Joleon will know him better than we do, that’s the great thing. There will be no surprise for Joleon on Sunday and the same for John Terry who’ll have played against him as well, so that’s a good thing. But obviously knowing and playing against him means that there will be that added extra spice that Balotelli himself will want to put one over on England. He plays in the country, he’s a big figure in England with respect to the media he gets and he’s a champion of England now with Manchester City and he will be very difficult to play against,” said Neville.

GARY WILL BE GREAT

Everton defender Phil Neville has said that his brother and former Manchester United defender Gary Neville will be a great coach at the Euro 2012 for England. It was recently announced that the former Manchester United defender, who is currently working as a pundit for Sky Sports, will be travelling along with the England squad to the Euro 2012 as one of the coaches.

He is expected to aid England in the defensive aspect. England have been lacking a major right back who is capable of challenging with the best in the world since the retirement of Gary Neville. Phil Neville has said that there will certainly be no clash of qualities because Gary Neville is one of the honest men one can ever find.

Phil Neville has said that Gary Neville is not the type of person to say a different thing compared to what is on his mind. It is this honest take that will come to his rescue at the Euro 2012 according to his brother. Phil Neville also said that he never planned to travel with the England squad for the Euro 2012 because he is only concerned about playing at the moment. However, he has said that he is taking his coaching badges now.

“I know what Gary will do for the squad. It came as a bolt out of the blue. He has had such a successful time with Sky and I think he was looking to put his feet up this summer. The first thing I thought was ’what a clever move by Roy Hodgson’. From a PR exercise, he has not gone for a yes man, he has gone for someone who will challenge him and the team. I think it was a masterstroke. There is a new era coming in now. I am really positive and quite excited,” Neville said.

CHELSEA IN LAST CHANCE SALOON

Former Manchester United defender and current Skysports pundit Gary Neville has said that Chelsea’s dream of winning the title this season would vanish if they lose to Manchester City on Monday night. After suffering a lot of hiccups during the season, Chelsea finally seem to be getting their act together with two consecutive 3-0 wins over Newcastle United and Valencia.

Still, Gary Neville is sceptical about Chelsea’s chances of winning any silverware this season, while he also says that Andre Villas-Boas needs to strengthen his team a lot more during the summer. Gary Neville has prompted a strong response from Andre Villas-Boas in the past, with the Chelsea manager claiming that Neville has no idea about the Chelsea dressing room.

Gary Neville recently saw his former team Manchester United crash out of the Champions League, while their neighbours Manchester City also suffered the same fate. However, Chelsea managed to progress into the last 16 of the Champions League with a 3-0 win over Valencia under difficult circumstances. Just when it seemed that everything seems to be normal at Stamford bridge, Gary Neville has come out with the statement that Chelsea’s hopes of winning the title this season may finally come to an end a should they lose to Manchester City.

Manchester City are the visitors to the Stamford bridge this weekend in one of the most important matches of the season. Despite being very early in the season, it is billed as the match that could see City finally suffer their first defeat of the season. “But for Chelsea, it’s also as big as it has been this season. If they lose, they’ll be 13 points behind City and it will be difficult to get back in the title race. But if they win, everyone will think they’ve returned to form,” Neville wrote in a column for The Mail on Sunday.