Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has branded Gary Neville a “professional moaner” as he jokes no-one listened to the full-back in training.
The Manchester United legend won 85 caps for his country and since hanging up his boots has gone on to become one of the country’s most respected pundits.
But while his analysis on Monday Night Football might have viewers glued to the screen, team-mates wished they could reach for the mute button.
Eriksson said on the Italian Football Podcast : “Gary Neville is a professional moaner on everything.
“David Beckham told me during one of the first England training sessions, he said: ‘Boss, don’t listen to him. He was born like that and he will die like that. But he is a good man and he doesn’t really mean what he says.’
“Gary Neville is very, very professional with what he does. But he feels like he has to say his opinion always – and especially if it is something negative!
“But he was very much respected by all of his team-mates and everyone knew how he was and nobody listened to him.”
Eriksson took England to two World Cup quarter-finals as well as reaching the last eight of Euro 2004, but watched on as the Three Lions did even better in the summer.
Gareth Southgate’s side went all the way to the final on home soil before being beaten on penalties by an Italy side coached by Sven’s former Lazio and Sampdoria player Roberto Mancini.
Eriksson reflected: “I thought during the tournament that everything was set up for England to win the Euros.
“They played six of the seven games at Wembley. They were lucky with some of the decisions from the referees. So I thought they would win it. But they didn’t and that was fair. Italy and Mancini deserved it.
“I could talk all day about Mancini. I knew that he was a good coach since 20-25 years ago when he was a player. I knew that if anyone was going to be a good coach it would be him because he’s thinking, he’s living football always in his brain. And it’s been like that since he was 20 years old.
“It’s no surprise he played beautiful football because everything he does is elegant. The way he trains is elegant, the way he plays is elegant, the way he behaves is elegant. So he didn’t just win but he won with class.
“Italy are good at keeping the ball but they are also direct with how they play. When they win the ball, they attack, they attack.
“Italy always tried to get forward when they got the ball. Not like Spain.”Internet Explorer Channel Network