The former Manchester United player announced that he would be leaving the Toffees after eight years at Goodison Park and will now head into coaching following 19 years as a pro
Neville won 56 caps for England as well as getting his hands on a Champions League title and six Premier League crowns while at Manchester United. The 36-year-old confirmed in April that he would follow manager David Moyes out of Goodison Park but delayed his decision on retirement until now.
The 36-year-old Neville, who is currently coaching the England Under-21s at Euro 2013 in Israel, admitted he was just biding his time.
"I was speaking to Robbie Fowler about this the other week and he hasn't officially retired," Neville told reporters. "Three weeks ago, everyone in the world seemed to be retiring. I thought, 'I'm not jumping on this bandwagon.' I just wanted it to be a smooth, quiet turnover. I didn't want that.
"When I made a statement that I was leaving Everton, everywhere I went I seemed to be getting 'Oh you've been brilliant.' I didn't like it. I didn't want to be seen as an attention-seeker.
"In my heart, I knew that I wouldn't be playing again - at any level. I just wanted to drift away.
"The biggest thing I will miss is July 4 when Everton are due back for pre-season training. I loved that day. I lived for it, getting back with the lads.
"My wife, she knows what I'm like. She's saying 'For God's sake, don't have any more time off!'"
Neville was initially tipped to follow brother Gary Neville into television punditry, but he has since been linked with a job at United on Moyes' backroom staff after leaning toward a coaching career.
"I do enjoy the media side but I want to work, I want to coach, I want to get more hours on the grass," Neville said. "I have got two paths - one to go into the media, the other to go into coaching and management. I have got offers from both. I will sit down at the end of the tournament."