Peter Schmeichel said some harsh things to Gary Neville when they played together at Manchester United 4 years ago

Peter Schmeichel said some harsh things to Gary Neville when they played together at Manchester United

Gary Neville is a Manchester United great.

The former right-back, who has of course since gone on to forge a successful career as a Sky Sports analyst, made 602 appearances during his 19-year career at Old Trafford.

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During that spell, he won eight Premier League titles, three FA Cups and a Champions League. He went on to become the club captain before retiring in 2011. Like his fellow Class of '92 graduates, Neville is deified by United fans basically because he lived and breathed the club.

There is no question: he is a United legend.

However, when he was breaking through into Alex Ferguson's first-team in the early 90s, not everyone was convinced of his credentials. In fact, it turns out that Peter Schmeichel, United's legendary goalkeeper, didn't rate Neville at all.

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Neville appeared on the latest edition of Joey Barton's podcast (yes, Joey Barton podcast and, believe it or not, it's not bad). During a wide-ranging interview, the former Valencia manager recalled Schmeichel's unflattering remarks.

Neville said: "He told me on a Christmas day out, about three or four years after I broke in: ‘I genuinely didn’t think you were good enough. I thought you were a risk to us winning the league and conceding goals. I thought you would make mistakes - I didn’t think you were good enough.'

"We used to do crossing practice at the end of training. He used to stand on the penalty spot and catch my crosses and tell me they were crap."

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Neville presumably put his notorious appetite for work to good use on his crossing skills as the former England international is renowned for having mastered the full-back overlap and crossing combination, forming that notoriously potent understanding with David Beckham.

Then again, you have to start somewhere and it seems Schmeichel was unmoved by Neville's emergence. It's a good thing Neville didn't let the Dane's harsh words deter him.

But they must have still left a lasting impression on Neville, who seemed frightened of Schmeichel when they met in the tunnel after the keeper had joined City.

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Then again, Schmeichel can be quite scary. Just ask that pitch invader guy.

You can listen to Neville on Joey Barton's The Edge podcast here. It's rather good.