January 25 – David Beckham insists that his former England and Manchester United teammate Phil Neville was appointed as Inter Miami head coach since he is “the right man for the job” rather than anything to do with their friendship.
Neville was announced as the new boss of the Major League Soccer outfit co-owned by Beckham last week, shortly after stepping down as England Women manager.
Beckham told a press conference unveiling Neville that the move had been made for purely footballing reasons.
“I’ve known Phil since I was 15, 16 years old, and I know what he’s like, what he was like as a player, what he is like as a human being, what his work ethic is like,” he said. “Him and his brother Gary, I’ve never seen two players work as hard at their game in my whole career.
“Of course, people are always going to turn around and say ‘it’s because he’s your friend’. It’s nothing to do with him being my friend. Our ownership group don’t just employ our friends, we employ the best people. We are running a serious soccer club here and I think we hire people we feel are best suited for the job.
“My loyalty to Phil has always been there, because as a player I relied on him to keep making those runs by the side of me. I never gave him the ball because I thought I was a better crosser! But I knew he would keep on making those runs because he knew that was what was best for the team.
“He will make those decisions as a coach…and as a leader. That’s why he’s in this position, nothing to do with the relationship we have, the friendship we have, the loyalty we have to each other. He’s the right man for the job.”
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