Gary Neville says he often thought England career a 'waste of time'

Gary Neville
Neville sorts out penalty takers at the 2006 World Cup in Germany

Gary Neville has said England have no chance of winning Euro 2012 and that he often felt playing for his country was a "waste of time".

"I don't see us competing seriously for a major tournament for at least 10 years," said recently-retired Neville.

And he added: "There have been times when I've reflected on my international career and just thought: 'Well that was a massive waste of time.'"

The ex-Manchester United defender won 85 caps and played in two World Cups.

"[I am] sorry for sounding sour, but my best mate, David Beckham, got butchered after the World Cup in 1998, then my brother, Phil, after Euro 2000," he continued.

"The whole lot of us got it in the neck at other times. Sometimes we deserved it, but playing for England was one long roller-coaster: some ups and downs, but also quite a few moments when you're not really sure if you're enjoying the ride."

Neville, who played 400 matches for United, claimed many England players fear playing for their country.

Writing in his book, Red, which is being serialised in the Mail on Sunday, he added: "It should be fantastic, the best moments of your life. But there is no doubt that too many players spend too much time fearing the consequence of failure when they pull on an England shirt."

Neville, who is now working as a media pundit, says he feels sorry for the players who are now embarking on their international careers with England.

"They are caught between these massive expectations and the reality of being good, sometimes very good, but probably not of tournament-winning quality," he wrote.

"The Premier League years have seen a rise in technique and skills and tactical intelligence, but it's not a transformation that can happen overnight. It will take time."

England's next fixtures are the Euro 2012 qualifiers in Bulgaria (2 September) and against Wales at Wembley (6 September) which follow the recent cancellation of the friendly against Netherlands because of the riots in London.

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