Gary Neville’s 18 year Old Trafford career will be honoured when Manchester United tackle Italian giants Juventus in a testimonial on Tuesday, May 24. I don’t want to seem as if I’m counting my chickens but the European Champions League Final at Wembley is scheduled for May 28, just four days later. Tuesday May 31 would have seemed to be a far more appropriate date for the testimonial. What a wonderful way it will be to celebrate IF United can manage to lift Big Ears. Juve’s world cup winning keeper Gigi Buffon has long been touted as a possible replacement for the retiring Edwin van der Sar in summer which raises speculation that the choice of Juventus may be part of an overall deal. Food for thought!
The veteran full back had intended to play a testimonial fixture at the start of this season but was forced to put the game back due to the impossibility of finding a suitable date. Since then, the 36 year-old has announced his retirement.
His final game at West Brom on January 1 saw him fortunate to escape a red card for the second time this season and it was clear the huge number of injuries Neville suffered in the latter stages of his career had taken their toll.
Those difficult last few games will not be allowed to overshadow a fabulous career though, which began with a debut against Torpedo Moscow as a 17 year old. By the time he retired, Neville had made 602 appearances for the club he supported all his life, won eight Premier League titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups and the Champions League in 1999. In addition, Neville won 85 England caps.
“I am delighted to be given this game by the club” he said “it is going to be a very emotional night for me especially as I pull on that red shirt once more in what will be my last game for the club. I intend to savour every moment and I hope the fans can share in my special night.”
Neville has pledged to use the proceeds to support sustainable projects within the community, an issue close to his heart, and also has plans for supporter initiatives home and abroad
Enjoy your night Gazza. One finalt thought – If Tuesday May 31 did not fit into the Juventus schedule, why not arrange a testimonial for Red Nev against Liverpool instead? On second thoughts…
Who would be your choice as a VDS replacement?