‘This moment isn’t coming back… this is the game of our lives’: Gary Neville issues impassioned rallying cry to England ahead of Germany clash and urges them to ‘create history’ on home soil at Euro 2020 – unlike his ’96 team who fell short
An emotional Gary Neville has tried to fire up England by issuing a passionate speech urging the players to take their chance against Germany and make history.
England face their old foe at Wembley on Tuesday evening, with a place in the quarter-finals at Euro 2020 at stake.
The Three Lions would book a showdown with either Sweden or Ukraine if they can defeat Joachim Low’s men, and Neville has urged the national team not to ‘fall short’ as he and his team-mates did at Euro 96.
Gary Neville has launched a passionate rally cry to fire up England for Germany on Tuesday
Speaking on the Sky Sports Football Euros Podcast, Neville hammered home his point that the chance of playing in what is effectively a home tournament does not come around very often, with many players in the current team having it as their final chance.
Neville said: ‘What I’d say to these lads on Tuesday is: this moment isn’t coming back.
‘This is it. Don’t think of this moment ever coming back. Playing Germany in a home tournament, in your own stadium, in front of 45,000 fans. You wish it was 80,000, like we had in Euro 96 but it will be enough, it will be a special moment.
‘We didn’t create history in Euro 96, we fell short. Don’t fall short on Tuesday, lads.
Neville has stressed how England have the chance to make history in front of home support
As a youngster at Euro 96, Neville admits the national side fell short when it mattered most
‘What an opportunity exists if we beat Germany on Tuesday. They’ll know that.
‘The lads on Tuesday will not have another moment like this in their international careers because it’s unlikely we’re going to get a tournament [held in England] in the next five or 10 years.
‘For the likes of Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling this is it. There isn’t a second chance.’
Neville has also urged Gareth Southgate’s team not to look past the fixture and think about what could be achieved in future tournaments if they were to be defeated by the Germans.
He added: ‘But don’t think that [there will be] 2022 in Qatar or 2024 somewhere else or 2026 somewhere else… forget that, you might not be there.
‘The team might not be there, you might not qualify. All those things exist in future tournaments that are out of your hands.
England will book a place against Sweden or Ukraine in the quarters if they defeat Germany
‘This tournament now you have a great chance.
‘It’s so special to play Germany at Wembley, it really is. It’s a major national moment for this country. That’s how it was in Euro 96, a major moment that is remembered forever.
‘I’ve got faith in Gareth and his staff that he’ll have prepared them really well. They’ll be ready for it.
‘We’ve kept clean sheets, this is the game of our lives, we’re at home and I’ve got a feeling we’re just going to nick it.’
The likes of Harry Kane (centre) will never get to play a major tournament in England again
Old rivals Germany have ruined England’s dreams before and will be a stern test once again