Sir Alex Ferguson has not ruled out the prospect of Gary Neville forcing his way into Fabio Capello's England World Cup squad.
The veteran Manchester United defender has enjoyed an excellent season, confounding the critics who claimed that, after two years almost totally wrecked by injury, his days at the top level were numbered.
"I wouldn't be surprised if he went to South Africa," said Ferguson. "It is not my job to say he should go, it is difficult enough for an international manager, but I wouldn't be surprised if Fabio chose him."
Although he was initially sidelined by a broken ankle sustained in a tackle with Gary Speed in March 2007, it was a series of muscular problems which kept Neville out for an entire year.
He ended up making just a single nine-minute substitute appearance in a Champions League encounter with Roma in the 2007/08 season, and only chalked up 27 last term.
Even Ferguson doubted whether Neville would recover but the full-back has shown admirable fortitude and more than held his own against Manchester City flyer Craig Bellamy at Eastlands last week.
"Gary is unbelievable," Ferguson added. "He is an amazing man. When you are in your 30s and been out of the game for a year and a half it is impossible for most players to come back to the level he is at now.
"He used his experience to the full last Saturday. Craig Bellamy is a handful but Gary will have studied every little bit of him. That is what he does and he had him under control."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms