By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger has paid tribute to Gary Neville after the Manchester United defender announced his retirement from football.

The 35-year-old right back called time on a hugely-successful career on Wednesday having made 602 appearances for his club and 85 for his country.

Neville was part of a 'golden generation' at Old Trafford, winning a stack of medals alongside the likes of Ryan Giggs and David Beckham. Wenger believes Neville lacked their natural talent but made up for it with other qualities.

"A huge career and fantastic achievements, that is what he has done," said the Arsenal manager.

"I respect a lot what he has done because he was certainly not one of the most talented players in the league but what he has achieved is consistency.

"His record is down to intelligence and motivation - he is an example to players who are maybe less gifted than the Giggs and the Beckhams but still make a fantastic career because they are intelligent and highly-motivated. They deserve a great credit.

"[Neville was the] best English right back, certainly - if you look at his record, he has won absolutely everything and the number of games he has played, he is without a doubt the best."

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3 Feb 2011