Thu, May 26, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Team bids Neville farewell

AFP, MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM

A Manchester United team including former players lines up for a picture before a testimonial soccer match on Tuesday against Juventus for United’s Gary Neville at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England. From left to right in the back row are David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Tomasz Kuszczak, Wes Brown, John O’Shea and Michael Owen. In the front row are Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney.

Photo: AFP

David Beckham and Ryan Giggs both made appearances as former teammate Gary Neville waved farewell to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Around 42,000 fans saw Juventus emerge 2-1 winners in Neville’s testimonial game, which marks the final chapter in his playing career before a move into the media.

And the 36-year-old is hoping his first task will be to see his old club beating Barcelona in the Champions League final.

“The most important thing for this club now is to go and win that trophy on Saturday,” said Neville, who spent 20 years at United.

There was no mention of Giggs’ off-field problems, after the Welsh player was named by a British MP as the soccer player who had sought to prevent details of an alleged affair being published, as the veteran set up Wayne Rooney for United’s only goal.

Paul Scholes, Anderson, John O’Shea and Rafael also played some part, although there was no action for Darren Fletcher.

Neville thanked Beckham, Nicky Butt and brother Phil, who helped complete the famed “Class of 1992” for one more United appearance.

Beckham echoed Neville’s words of hope for his old club.

“I hope we win. It is as simple as that,” Beckham told Key103. “Barcelona are such a great football side, one of the best in the world, but if any club, and any manager, can beat them it is Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson. The manager continues to do it. He continues changing teams and players, yet Manchester United keep on going.”

“That is why there is so much respect for him throughout the game and why he is the best manager in the world,” he said.

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