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By ESPN Staff

Neville: It was the right time to retire

Former Manchester United and England full-back Gary Neville says he is enjoying retired life, maintaining that he chose the right moment to end his football career.

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Neville, 36, announced in February that he was retiring from professional football with immediate effect and two months later he remains sure that he made the right decision.

"It was a struggle towards the end for me," Neville told MUTV. "I was ready for it, when people finish their career they miss it. I feel content and happy, watching the games and enjoying it.''

His efforts for United are likely to be remembered in a testimonial match at the end of the season, with an announcement due within the next couple of weeks.

But the former United captain does not miss the strict regime he had to follow to continue a career at the top level of European football for so long.

"Hotel, rest, match, eat, sleep. That was the pattern, you are institutionalised into being like that," Neville explained. "You have a privileged lifestyle but have to be professional.''

Despite not missing playing for United, Neville is still a huge fan and was shown in amongst the fans during the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea.

"I just wanted to go and watch a few games normally, we decided to queue up outside. I wanted the real atmosphere and really enjoyed it. It was a different experience.''

Neville also backed up Sir Alex Ferguson's recent quotes regarding aiming for all three major trophies in one season - the last time United did it in 1999 Neville played a huge part on all fronts.

However, he warned: "You never think about winning a treble - you're playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday and you don't have time to think about games that are six weeks away.''


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