Gary Neville was a late arrival to the England Soccer Aid camp and was called out by Sven Goran Eriksson but he still be named in the starting XI alongside the likes of Jamie Carragher and Wayne Rooney
Sven-Goran Eriksson made a point of highlighting Gary Neville’s lateness as he named his England starting XI for Soccer Aid.
The Three Lions will take on a World XI at the Etihad Stadium, with the Swede leading them.
Eriksson led England for five years before leaving his post in 2006 and coached Neville throughout that period.
The former Manchester United right-back will start for England but not before his timing issues were bought to light.
Eriksson said: “Two of our players came this morning – it is a little bit late but anyhow they are here and I’m happy for that.”
Neville will form a makeshift centre-half partnership with his fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher in front of David James.
In the centre of midfield will be the iconic duo of Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes, two former United greats.
Eriksson labelled the pair “world class” whilst assistant manager Micah Richards couldn’t contain his excitement.
Shaun Wright-Phillips, who previously played at City, will play in attack alongside singer James Arthur.
Olly Murs, James Bay, Mark Wright and Harriet Pavlou are the other celebrities starting the clash.
Rooney has said ahead of tonight: “Pulling on an England shirt is always special, so I’m absolutely delighted to be doing that again in Soccer Aid for UNICEF this September.”
Meanwhile Neville has added: “This is all about raising money for UNICEF, let’s be really clear!
“There is no other good bit of Gary Neville playing football. If you watched me play, it was a struggle at the age of 36 and I’m now 46! I have done it a couple of times over the last 10 years and it’s always for causes like this.
“The work UNICEF does around the world is off the scale. It was one of the great partners of Manchester United when I was there, we used to have a dinner every single year.
“It’s the 10th year of Soccer Aid and partnership with UNICEF who do incredible work, much needed work that isn’t delivered by a government, it’s delivered by this amazing charity.
“And that is a huge positive that makes it worthwhile for me to come and play. The work that has been done over the years with Soccer Aid and UNICEF is fantastic.
“I’ve always watched it but never thought I wanted to play in it. I finally got persuaded because it meant I could play in a team with Rooney and Scholes again and this hopefully means I’m on the winning team.”