Gary Neville has admitted he would have gladly taken a lengthy ban after his notorious badge kiss in front of the Liverpool fans in 2006.
That season’s clash between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford was won by the home side with a last-minute header by Rio Ferdinand, who had just returned from a six-month suspension for missing a drug test.
The dramatic winning goal sent the crowd, and Neville, into raptures, with the right-back sprinting all the way across the pitch to celebrate in front of the away supporters, furiously grabbing and kissing his badge while doing so.
The two rivals meet this Sunday afternoon in the Premier League, a game of huge ramifications for both the title race and the Top Four.
Ahead of the clash Jamie Carragher and Neville reminisced about the rivalry over the years and naturally, the conversation turned to that celebration.
When Carragher asked if it was worth the £10,000 fine he received for doing it, Neville responded, “Absolutely, it was worth a 120-match ban!”
“It was probably one of the best moments because we were struggling at the time, we hadn’t won the league for three years and it just felt like one of the best moments we had in a couple of years,’’ he told Sky Sports.
”Every time we scored against Liverpool and it was a winner, and you knew it was a winner, I would celebrate. For me personally, that’s what it’s about. I think Steven Gerrard has celebrated in front of the United fans a few times, Robbie Fowler definitely did and you’ve just got to take it on the chin.”