Gary Neville’s shirt collection from his time with Manchester United and England will make you weep.
Ronaldo. Del Piero. Maldini. Cantona. Former Manchester United and England right back Gary Neville has some special football shirts in his locker. Here are 10 of his best.
1996 Manchester United shirt #7 Cantona
In the FA cup final, when Manchester United defeated Liverpool 1-0, Gary came on as a last-minute sub. Somehow, this meant he managed to blag winning goalscorer Eric Cantona’s shirt.
2005 AC Milan shirt Shevchenko #7
Manchester United played AC Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League in 2004/05. Milan played away at Old Trafford in the first leg and won 1-0 through a Hernan Crespo goal. Shevchenko wasn’t in the team so Gary must have got it through someone else. Jaap Stam? As the great man said; “Shevchenko. When he could play!”
1999 Bayern Munich away Elber #9
Quality Bayern Munich – Champions League shirt from the Brazilian striker. This doesn’t come from the final but from the group stage, when Bayern drew 1-1 at Old Trafford.
1999 Marseille shirt Pires #7
In the 1999 Champions League group stages Manchester United faced a Marseille team featuring Fabrizio Ravanelli, William Gallas and Robert Pires. Gary didn’t play in either game, but sourced this through other means – maybe his brother Phil. As G Nev said: “Pires, before we started booting him!”
1997 Italy home shirt from #20 Del Piero
Not a bad kit to have in your locker. This awesome Italy shirt came from the qualifying stages for France ‘98. England played Italy three times in one year, with their solitary victory coming in the prestigious but never-to-be-repeated Le Tournoi (current holders: England).
1998 Argentina home shirt #10 Ortega
Another magic shirt. This comes from England vs Argentina when we were knocked out on penalties. To quote Henry Winter’s exceptional match report: “Never outplayed, never outfought, never outsung, England are nevertheless out of the World Cup.”
1997/98 Juventus home shirt #8 Conte
The only player out of Gary’s collection that has gone on to management. Neville got the Juventus and Italy manager’s shirt from when they played in the 1997/98 Champions League. Manchester United lost 1-0 away with Pippo “offside” Inzaghi scoring the only goal.
1999 Inter Milan #10 Baggio
This is getting serious now. United played Inter Milan in the quarter finals of the Champions League. United won the first leg at home 2-0 with a Dwight Yorke double. Forget that. He also got Baggio’s shirt.
1997 Brazil home shirt #9 Ronaldo
Probably my favourite player ever. Gary Neville got Ronaldo’s Brazil shirt when he came on for Martin Keown in the 1-1 draw with Brazil in Le Tournoi in 1997. The best tournament never to be played again, made famous by that Roberto Carlos free-kick.
1997 Italy shirt Maldini #3
What a player. Paolo Maldini was Italy and AC Milan captain when Gary got this shirt. Again, it came from World Cup qualifying for France 98. Maldini captained Italy at Wembley, with Neville patrolling the right for England.
That would make some team. Maldini at the back. Conte providing cover, with 8 up front.