Gary Neville has called on the Manchester United squad he recently left behind to repeat the heroics of the side that finally overtook the then all-conquering Juventus to claim their rightful place at the top of the European tree.
Just as Barcelona are said to be streets ahead of the rest at the moment, Juve were kings of the hill in the mid 90s before Neville and Co put them in their place and won a famous treble, which included the Champions League in 1999.
Neville wants to see more of the same and says:”I remember in 1996 and 1997 we were absolutely streets behind Juventus. The biggest murdering I ever got on a football pitch was away to Juventus in ’96.
“We didn’t have a shot on goal all match. They were the best in Europe for two or three years. Everyone said they were untouchable and they were.
“But we progressed. We had young players who strived to get to their level and eventually you get there. You climb that mountain and it is tough. But I think we will progress and get there.”
Neville was a United captain and amassed over 400 appearances for the club, putting him behind Ryan Giggs as the club’s second longest serving player.
The right back was a member of the famous 1990s youth squad that included Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and brother Phil Neville.
And while to some Neville would seem a bit ambitious in believing that United can catch Barcelona so soon, the legend has some good experience to back up his arguments.
“I think the likes of Man United and Real Madrid will get past Barcelona in the next two years,” Neville added. “Next season will be tougher for them because teams like United and others will learn. Things go in cycles.”
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