Inter Miami have confirmed the appointment of ex-England women manager Phil Neville as new head coach, linking up with former Manchester United teammate and friend David Beckham, who is president and co-owner of the MLS franchise.
Awaiting a work visa to get the final green light, Neville arrives in good time to prepare for the 2021 MLS season, which is scheduled to begin in March.
90min revealed earlier this month that Beckham was the one who convinced Neville to take the plunge in MLS and persuaded his partners on the Inter Miami board to agree.
The talks between Neville and Beckham included the topic of further investment and the addition of more star names to an Inter roster that already features Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi. The club has also invested heavily in Argentine talent Matias Pellegrini.
“I am incredibly delighted for this opportunity to coach Inter Miami and to work with [new sporting director] Chris [Henderson] and the entire ownership group,” Neville said.
“This is a very young club with a lot of promise and upside, and I am committed to challenging myself, my players and everyone around me to grow and build a competitive soccer culture we can all be proud of.”
The move represents Neville’s first permanent head coach role at club level, or in men’s soccer. He was previously part of the coaching staff at Manchester United during the 2013/14 season under David Moyes, while he was briefly an interim boss at Salford City in 2015, the club he co-owns with Beckham, his brother Gary, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt.
But Beckham clearly isn’t worried about a lack of experience.
“I have known Phil since we were both teenagers at the Manchester United academy. We share a footballing DNA having been trained by some of the best leaders in the game, and it’s those values that I have always wanted running through our club,” the former England captain said.
“Phil has deep experience in football, as a player and as a coach at both club and international level, and over his career he has worked with many of the finest managers and players in the game.
“I know his qualities as a person, his decency, loyalty and honesty – and his incredible energy and work ethic. Anyone who has played or worked with Phil knows he is a natural leader, and I believe now is the right time for him to join.”
Under previous head coach Diego Alonso in the fledgling club’s debut MLS season, Inter finished 10th in the Eastern Conference and 19th out of 26 in the overall standings.