David Beckham insisted that Phil Neville’s appointment as Inter Miami boss had “nothing” to do with the couple’s friendship and was purely based on his managerial abilities.
Neville’s three-year stint at the helm of England Women is the only full-time managerial position he has held in his career – and he interrupted his tenure with the Lionesses in order to take the post of Inter Miami in January.
Beckham owns part of Inter Miami and has progressed through Manchester United academy and first team with Neville. The duo also co-own Salford City, alongside fellow 96 classmates Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes.
However, the former England captain said their previous relationship was irrelevant to the appointment, insisting Neville was simply the best man for the job.
“I’ve known him since he was 15, 16, a young child,” Beckham said (via Sky Sports). “I knew what he looked like as a player, I know what he looks like as a human being, I know what his work ethic looks like.
“Him and his brother Gary, I’ve never seen two players work so hard at their game in my entire career. So to have someone like that in this club – of course people are always going to turn around and say ‘Oh, that’s because he’s your friend’ – it has nothing to do with ‘he is my friend.
“I own a club with Jorge. Our Ownership Group doesn’t just employ our friends, we employ the best people, whether it’s on the pitch, off the pitch, in our back room team. We run serious football. club. We hire the people we feel are best suited for this role. “
Neville had a solid first half of his tenure as Lionesses, guiding his team to SheBelieves Cup glory and a World Cup semi-final in 2019, before a dramatic drop in performance and results. The former Everton man also took charge of Salford City’s 2-1 win over Kendall Town in January 2015.