Neville was on the England standby list in Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad for the World Cup in 2006.
The former defender told BBC Radio 5 live: "When England played Jamaica at Old Trafford and Ashley Cole got injured ahead of that tournament I remember going to a restaurant after the game with my brother and I was actually praying Ashley would have an injury that would keep him out of the World Cup so I could go. It wasn't a nice situation to be in."
Roy Hodgson's standby list includes John Ruddy (Norwich City), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), John Stones (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Andy Carroll (West Ham United), Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC).
Hodgson will cut seven standby players from his squad on June 2 ahead of the World Cup in Brazil.