David Beckham has insisted that appointment Phil Neville as Inter Miami boss has ‘nothing’ to do with the pair’s friendship and is purely based on his managerial capabilities.
Neville’s three-year stint in charge of England Women is the only full time managerial position he has held during his career – and he cut short his tenure with the Lionesses in order to take the Inter Miami job in January.
Beckham part owns Inter Miami, and progressed through the Manchester United academy and into the first team with Neville. The duo are also co-owners of Salford City, alongside fellow Class of ’96 members Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes.
However, the former England captain says their prior relationship was irrelevant when making the appointment, insisting Neville was simply the best man for the job.
“I’ve known him since I was 15, 16 years old, from a young kid,” Beckham said (via Sky Sports). “I knew what he was like as a player, I know what he’s like as a human being, I know what his work ethic is like.
“Him and his brother Gary, I’ve never seen two players work as hard at their game in my whole career. So to actually have someone like that come into this club – of course people are always going to turn around and say ‘Oh, it’s because he’s your friend’ – it’s nothing to do with him being my friend.
“I’m an owner of a club with Jorge. Our ownership group don’t just employ our friends, we employ the best people whether it’s on the field, off the field, in our backroom staff. We’re running a serious soccer club. We hire people we feel are best suited for the job.”
Neville enjoyed a strong first half to his Lionesses tenure, guiding his side to SheBelieves Cup glory and a World Cup semi final in 2019, before a dramatic downturn in performances and results ensued. The former Everton man also took charge of Salford City’s 2-1 win over Kendall Town in January 2015.