Phil Neville has spoken out about losing his job at Inter Miami before the arrival of World Cup winner Lionel Messi to the MLS side.
The coach was relieved of his duty by Miami co-owner David Beckham, his lifelong friend, on June 1st, 2023. This was two weeks before Lionel Messi was signed.
The Englishman was sacked by Beckham after he led the team to two wins in 13 games in the MLS Eastern Conference.
However, since Messi joined the club alongside Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba with Tata Martino replacing Phil Neville, the team has been progressive.
Neville said: “I always had a feeling deep down I wasn’t going to be here (in Miami) when he (Messi) was going to come to the club.”
“And I say that not lacking confidence in myself but this was different, this was not signing Gonzalo Higuain or Blaise Matuidi.
“You look around the world, the way he has been at other clubs and there has always been certain managers that managed him. The bottom line for me was, forget Messi, the results weren’t good enough the last month I was in the job and I knew that. That is the reason I left.
“When I look in the mirror in the morning and my friends or social media say ‘it could have been you’, well no it couldn’t have. The results were not good enough. I knew the vision, I knew what the club wanted. I’ve been in football a long time and sometimes it is not meant to be. I am not bitter, twisted or angry.”
“They were incredibly honest to me,” Neville went on to add.
“I have had two special moments in my career away from the medals that I won and that is when I left Manchester United and when I left Miami. It was one that, in a way, filled me with pride with the respect they had for me.”
“My best friend, one of my lifelong friends, delivered the news that I wasn’t going to work for Inter Miami and that was really hard. Hard for David, hard for me but it was actually a really special moment between two people who have total respect and love for each other.”
“I don’t have any bitterness and I don’t look back. Sir Alex Ferguson taught me that, my father taught me that – don’t look back because If you look back you end up with pain and anger and bitterness. I look forward, I think Miami gave me and my family two and a half of the best years of my life,” Phil Neville stated.
Lionel Messi is not the only global star that joined the MLS outfit and he was not the only one Neville would’ve been coaching by now.
If Neville had not lost his job, he would have been coaching other stars like Sergio Busquets and Barca ex-left-back Alba.
Who Is Phil Neville?
Philip John Neville is an English football manager and former player, who is the former head coach of MLS team Inter Miami CF.
The Englishman was born on 21 January 1977 and he is also the co-owner of Salford City, along with several of his former Manchester United teammates.
Neville played for Manchester United for 10 years and after that, he joined Everton in 2005, where he spent the final eight years of his playing career.
With United, Neville won six Premier League titles, three FA Cups, three FA Charity Shields, the Intercontinental Cup, and the Champions League.
Neville also appeared for England 59 times between 1996 and 2007, representing the nation at three European Championships.
He was a versatile player as he could play in defence or midfield; due to this versatility, he operated in a number of different positions throughout his career, but was most often used as a full-back.