Everton captain Phil Neville today revealed his intention to leave Goodison Park when his contract expires at the end of the season, which could bring an end to an illustrious Premier League career.

The 36-year-old midfielder has spent the past eight years with the Toffees after leaving Manchester United in 2005 to link-up with David Moyes on Merseyside, and has made over 500 appearances in England's top-flight.

Neville has not yet decided on his next move, but stressed that he will not be retiring at the end of the 2012/13 campaign, and has been tipped for a player-coaching role in the future.

The former England international already has plans to join Stuart Pearce's Three Lions backroom staff for the European U21 Championships in Israel this summer, having already worked with the development squad in February's qualifier against Belgium.

"I want to continue to play at the top level as long as I can, and will be weighing up my options before making a decision on my next move," he confirmed in a statement this morning.

"It's been an honour to play for and captain Everton. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time on Merseyside and will leave with immense pride.

"I would like to thank the manager [David Moyes], chairman [Bill Kenwright], all of the staff and the players at Everton for their continued support during my time at the club.

"I'd also like to pay a special thanks to the fans, who have been amazing over the past eight years and Everton will always have a place in my heart.

"I'll now be doing everything I can to help Everton finish as high up the league table as possible."

242 of Neville's 505 Premier League appearances to date have come in an Everton shirt, but the club veteran has had to settle for a bit-part role in the first-team this season, having played just 25 games in all competitions and 18 in the league.

His last appearance came in the FA Cup in the quarter-final defeat to Wigan Athletic on March 9, and hasn't featured in the Premier League since the 2-0 loss against former club Manchester United at Old Trafford in February.

After joining the Red Devils as a trainee in 1993, Neville made his full debut under Sir Alex Ferguson in January 1995, winning six Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the Champions League during ten trophy-laden seasons at Manchester United.

Whatever the future now holds for a man capped 59 times by England, there will always be a special place in the hearts of players, coaches, and fans all over the country as the model professional lays down a marker for any aspiring young footballer hoping to make it in the modern game.

His longevity at the elite level is almost unrivalled, with only five players in Premier League history boasting more top-flight appearances than Neville.

Click through the tabs to see who they are, and leave a message for the former Manchester United and current Everton star below.

 

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#Football
#Premier League
#Everton
#Phil Neville