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Veteran will never rule himself out of national duty...

Manchester United defender Gary Neville has asserted that he will never officially retire from international football and will always be ready to answer England's call if required.

Neville admitted last week that he was disappointed to be omitted from Fabio Capello's provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup.

However, that does not mean that the right-back, who recently signed a new one-year contract at Old Trafford and is only one cap away from becoming England's most capped full-back, has given up on his international career.

"If this is the end with England, I've no complaints," he told The Times.

"But, yes, I'll be available for selection as long as I'm playing football."

Neville also thinks that the idea of a player voluntarily retiring from international football is a somewhat absurd notion.

The defender feels that the decision on a player's international future is the national coach's alone, with player retirements often looking like an "empty gesture".

"Playing for England is hard at times, you have to be very thick-skinned about it," the 35-year-old added.

"But that's life and you have to remind yourself you are following a great tradition and a great line of players. I live in this country, I love this country. Why would I not want to represent it?

"I always said that I would never retire and I don't go along with international retirements, that's my stance. I respect the decisions of those who bow out because they feel they've given their all or for family reasons. That's what works for them.

"But I remember one player announcing his retirement about a year and a half after he'd last played. It's an empty gesture.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's the England manager who should retire players. They retire you. Maybe others haven't enjoyed it like me. Some don't want to be away and that's their agenda, their way of looking at it. But that's not me or what I believe in. I do think it's an honour."

Neville's form has seen him jump up the Castrol Rankings to No.319, ahead of England captain Rio Ferdinand at No.563.

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