During an 18-year professional career he played mainly for Bayer Leverkusen (five seasons) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (six), amassing Bundesliga totals of 334 games and 91 goals.
Neuville gained almost 70 caps for the German national team during one full decade, representing his adopted nation in two World Cups and at Euro 2008.
Born in Locarno, Switzerland, to a German father from Aachen and an Italian mother from the Calabria region, Neuville started his professional career with Servette FC. In only his second season in the Swiss Super League, he scored a career-best 16 goals to help the club win the national championship after a nine-year wait.
In 1996–97 Neuville played in Spain with CD Tenerife, where he was part of a well-balanced offensive line that also featured Juanele (eight goals), Meho Kodro (six), Antonio Pinilla (seven) and Aurelio Vidmar (one), netting five goals in 1,885 minutes as the Canary Islands team easily retained its La Liga status, and also playing a relatively important part in its semifinal run in the UEFA Cup. Subsequently, he moved to Germany and signed for F.C. Hansa Rostock, scoring eight times in only 17 contests in his debut campaign in the Bundesliga, as the side from the former East Germany finished sixth.
Neuville signed for Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the 1999 summer, quickly becoming an essential offensive figure for his new club. He scored 28 goals combined from 2000 to 2002 (including a hat-trick against Hamburger SV on 24 November 2001), while also adding five in 15 UEFA Champions League appearances in 2001–02, as Bayer finished second to Real Madrid (he scored one apiece in both legs of the semifinal clash against Manchester United); the club also finished second in the league during this timeframe.
Aged 31, Neuville joined Borussia Mönchengladbach for 2004–05, on a free transfer. On 17 October 2004 he scored an infamous goal with his hand against 1. FC Kaiserslautern in a 2–0 home win, which was widely reviled and landed him a two-match ban. He netted 22 goals in his first two seasons combined, but appeared scarcely as the Foals dropped down a level in 2007, mainly due to injury.
Neuville returned to form in 2007–08, scoring 15 goals to help Borussia return to the top flight the immediate campaign after, the competition's sixth-best. He made his last Bundesliga appearance on the final matchday of the 2009–10 season, against former team Bayer Leverkusen.
It was planned that Neuville would start to work as a youth coach for Borussia Mönchengladbach. Instead, he decided to play one more year and signed for Arminia Bielefeld in the 2. Bundesliga. However, after only a couple of months, he left by mutual consent, retiring at the age of 37.
After electing to represent Germany at international level, Neuville made his international debut on 2 September 1998 against Malta, in a friendly, replacing Mario Basler for the last fifteen minutes of the 2–1 away win. In his first months training with the national team he needed an interpreter to understand coach Erich Ribbeck's message, while getting his across as well.
Subsequently, Neuville went on to collect 69 caps with ten goals, being picked for the squad that finished second at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and scoring the game's only goal in the round-of-16 win against Paraguay.
After missing selection for UEFA Euro 2004, in the second group stage match of the 2006 World Cup against Poland Neuville, who had replaced Lukas Podolski, buried a desperate injury-time cross from fellow substitute David Odonkor, beating goalkeeper Artur Boruc on the way to a 1–0 victory. He didn't score again for the national team until 31 May 2008, when he slid in a Marcell Jansen cross in a Euro 2008 warm-up against Serbia, appearing in the tournament's final stages in the Group B match against Austria as a late substitute, and retiring from international play at the age of 35.Along with Bernd Schneider, Neuville was one of the two known smokers in the German national team.
His name (properly pronounced in French – not German – fashion) stems from his Belgian grandfather.
He has one son, Lars-Oliver (born in 1997).
Swiss League: 1993–94
UEFA Champions League: Runner-up 2001–02
DFB-Pokal: Runner-up 2001–02
2. Bundesliga: 2007–08
FIFA World Cup: Runner-up 2002; Third place 2006
UEFA European Championship: Runner-up 2008
FIFA Confederations Cup: Third place 2005