David Beckham, the founder of Major League Soccer club, Inter Miami, recently appointed Phil Neville as the manager of the MLS club. When the announcement was made, there was huge speculation that David Beckham appointed Phil Neville based on the friendship that has been existing between them.
David Beckham and Phil Neville have known each other since 1992 when they were playing for England under-18 national team. They both moved through the hierarchy of English football until they got into England’s senior national team in 1996.
Afterward, Neville retired from international football in 2007, two years before Beckham retired. Besides that, they were teammates at Manchester United between 1994 and 2003. Hence, they have been tagged to be long-term friends.
When they both retired from playing professional football around 2013, David Beckham went into sports business and went on to establish the Inter Miami club in the United States of America. The club grew to the point of being added to the MLS.
While Phil Neville went on to become a football manager and the 44-year-old English tactician was appointed as the head coach of England women’s national team in 2018. He served under that capacity until 18 January 2021, when David Beckham’s Inter Miami appointed him as the head coach of the club.
After the announcement of his appointment, critics of the two English former footballers began to speculate that Neville was not appointed based on merit but based on the friendship that he shares with Beckham.
Recently, David Beckham came out to clarify that the appointment of the former England international was not made out of friendship as it is being purported. The 45-year-old football administrator stressed that Inter Miami is a serious business that appoints people based on their capacity to deliver.
“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”, David Beckham said.
“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 is 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.”
For David Beckham, the appointment of Phil Neville goes beyond just the head coach role- it's about creating a culture, a DNA, across all levels of the #InterMiamiCF organization. pic.twitter.com/hjT9S5x7E6— Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF) January 22, 2021
Inter Miami started playing in the Major League Soccer in 2020 after less than two years of the establishment of the club. The club is not only owned by David Beckham, but it is co-owned by three other businessmen – Marcelo Claure, Jorge and Jose Mas, and Masayoshi Son.
However, Beckham is currently the president of the club because the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star own the highest stake at the MLS club.