Gary Neville has been appointed as a coach to Roy Hodgson's England staff - a move that he has called a "special moment" and a "great honour".
Hodgson sprang a major surprise on Monday by confirming Neville's appointment on a four-year contract.
It had been known that Hodgson wanted someone with relevant playing experience alongside him at Euro 2012, but if was felt Neville's brother Phil was a more likely candidate, or alternatively, Liverpool's Jamie Carragher.
Instead, Hodgson has turned to the elder Neville brother to be his first full-time appointment following the part-time arrivals of Fulham coach Ray Lewington and Birmingham City goalkeeping coach Dave Watson.
"Gary has achieved so much in the game as a player with Manchester United and England," said Hodgson.
"He has obtained UEFA coaching qualifications and will be tremendously respected by the players because of his vast experience as a player.
"At my first meeting with The FA, I explained that Gary was someone I wanted as part of my staff.
"I think it is very important we have a younger coach who knows the dressing room and is very experienced at international level.
"That he has represented England as a player at five major finals tournaments will make him an invaluable member of staff."
Neville's appointment has been sanctioned by the Football Association even though he has frequently been critical of the organisation.
The 37-year-old led the calls from strike action to be taken by England players in 2004 over the FA's treatment of Manchester United team-mate Rio Ferdinand and his missed drugs test.
Last year, by which time he had retired from the game after 602 United appearances and 85 England caps, Neville was unhappy at the way Wayne Rooney's case was handled after the striker swore into a TV camera and as recently as February, he branded the FA "inconsistent" and "half-hearted" when they stripped John Terry of the England captaincy.
That the FA should now be willing to give Neville such a prominent role, and allow him to continue in his pundits' role for Sky Sports and do a column for the Mail on Sunday outside of major tournaments, says much about both their trust in him and also Hodgson, whose own position was only confirmed a fortnight ago.
However, it could prove to be a masterstroke.
Neville's forceful personality is unlikely to leave any England player unaware of their responsibilities.
In addition, the fact he has, either for club or country, been a team-mate of so many senior players, including likely Euro 2012 skipper Steven Gerrard, makes the Bury-born player the perfect bridge between squad and coach.
That should help avoid the kind of tensions so obviously prevalent in South Africa two years ago when England's players gather on Monday for the start of their build-up to Euro 2012.
Hodgson is due to announce his squad for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine on Wednesday.
It will be fascinating to discover whether he has been able to exert any influence in the potential selection of Paul Scholes, either on player or manager.
Having reversed his retirement decision in January, it was always felt Scholes would consider returning to the international stage as well, having previously admitted his regret at snubbing a request from Fabio Capello to end his six-year international exile at the last World Cup.
That theory has now been strengthened, although it is not known whether Hodgson actually wants the midfield player in his 23-man squad.
Neville will definitely be there though, admitting once the call came he didn't think twice about accepting.
"Roy asking me to be a part of his staff and to work with the national team is not only an honour but a very special moment for me," said Neville.
"I had absolutely no hesitation in accepting this role and I am relishing the opportunity to work alongside Roy and the team at the Euros and through to the next two tournaments."
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what do you think?
Great appointment. He knows what he's talking about and can knock some sense into some of the prima donnas in the squad.
Too young, can you see Rooney - Lampaqrd - Terry listening to him all thre are overated prima-donnas.
Whenever I saw him I thought his ball distribution was very poor, may of been a good defender but I don't think he will improve any of the current squad in taking the ball forward. And as a person if I described my thoughts they would not be printed.
What's nick on about?? He'll be there to help with the teams defending as he was a defender! And a good one at that. He was one always getting balls into the box and setting the right wingers/midfielders off on runs. Ur comment is useless
Nah mate - my comment is the truth - his crossing was terrible and couldn't pass for toffees - you obviously don't know anything about football
Arrogant and massively over rated. If he wasn't a man u player, he would never have made the england squad. It's all starting again, jobs for the boys.
Brilliant appointment Roy Hodgson has brought in a very experienced player and pundit who has given a breath of fresh air to televised football games. Gary Neville has been reared by the best manager in football. He has played with the best, lead players and understands the requirements of international football. Anyone who doubts his ability read his book "Red" (I am not a Man Utd supporter)
Oh dear, you are judging him by his own book. How many times does he rate himself as the best , on each page, i wonder. I thought Hodgson was bad for England, this has just confirmed it.
I don't need to read his book - I saw him play many times and he was an average defender who could not cross or pass the ball when he attempted to go forward. I prefer Stam's book who described him and his brother very aptly
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This is what happens when you are from Man U . Doors open. Judgement goes west. I feel sorry for Roy. He's in a job that's beyond his capability, and now he's lumbered himself with a Man U prima donna.
Superb appointment. A rare display of common sense by the FA. Neville and Pearce combined will sort England. Or at least get the most they can out of overpaid primadonnas!
Pearce was a very unsuccesful club manager so you are wrong there. Neville has no experience of this and was an average defender with shocking passing and crossing ability
I've always despised the neviller but his stripping down of the weeks football on Monday nights this season have been a joy to watch. Give the lad a chance, he's highly respected in the dressing room and he does know what he's talking about
Makes no difference. Our players aren't good enough to win anything. To be blunt the England squad wouldn't be good enough to put up a decent showing in the Prem if they were all in one team.
personally i think no matter who is manager unless they follow germany and boot out some of these overated players and get the average age down to 23 were going no where and people keep on about experienced players at international level well lets get some of the 1966 players back because they got real experience of winning, since then we just turned up got beat and come home, so this is all the experience that can be offered and this is exactly what there doing losing need fresh start forget past and start new era.