New England coach Roy Hodgson has sprung a major surprise by appointing Gary Neville to his coaching team.
The former Manchester United defender has signed a four-year contract, which allows him to continue as a pundit for Sky Sports.
Neville will join Hodgson’s team immediately and will be with the England squad next week as they begin preparations for Euro 2012.
``Gary has achieved so much in the game as a player with Manchester United and England,'' said Hodgson.
“He has obtained UEFA coaching qualifications and will be tremendously respected by the players because of his vast experience as a player.
“At my first meeting with The FA, I explained that Gary was someone I wanted as part of my staff.
“I think it is very important we have a younger coach who knows the dressing room and is very experienced at international level.
“That he has represented England as a player at five major finals tournaments will make him an invaluable member of staff.”
Neville confirmed his retirement from the game in February 2010, having played 602 times for United and made 85 England appearances.
A member of that famed ’Class of 92’, he was widely acclaimed as the best right-back of his generation.
He was viewed as likely management material but instead took a pundits’ role, for which he has received widespread praise, and also did a column for the Mail on Sunday, which will continue outside of major tournaments.
Whether Neville will receive criticism for this remains to be seen.
However, for now, he is just delighted to be back within the England fold ahead of Euro 2012.
“Roy asking me to be a part of his staff and to work with the national team is not only an honour but a very special moment for me,” said Neville.
“I had absolutely no hesitation in accepting this role and I am relishing the opportunity to work alongside Roy and the team at the Euros and through to the next two tournaments.”