Phil Neville has been appointed as the new head coach at Major League Soccer outfit Inter Miami after ending his tenure as England Women boss.
Inter Miami confirmed the news on Monday, a few hours on from the Football Association announcing the 43-year-old was stepping down from his role with the Lionesses with immediate effect.
The club are co-owned by Neville’s former Manchester United and England teammate, David Beckham, who is also his fellow co-owner of League Two side Salford.
Phil Neville, welcome to #InterMiamiCF!
Former England Women’s National Team manager appointed as second head coach in Club history.https://t.co/hBHMH5Mmmj
— Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF) January 18, 2021
Neville said in a statement on Inter Miami’s website: ‘I am incredibly delighted for this opportunity to coach Inter Miami and to work with Chris [Henderson, the club’s new chief soccer officer and sporting director] and the entire ownership group.
‘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.
‘This fantastic soccer-loving market deserves consistent performances and a winning mentality, and I look forward to getting to work.’
Beckham said: ‘I am very happy with the leadership group we have established to lead the team as we turn the page following our inaugural season and look forward to having Chris and Phil join us soon.
‘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.
‘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.’
In its earlier announcement about Neville, who had previously been due to depart the England job in July at the end of his contract, the FA said it would confirm the name of an interim head coach ‘shortly’.
The governing body last summer announced Neville’s successor would be Holland boss Sarina Wiegman, but the plan has been for her not to start work in the role until September, after managing the Dutch at the Tokyo Olympics.
It also remains to be seen what the FA do regarding a manager for the Great Britain team at the Olympics, a job Neville had been in line for.
Following his appointment as England boss in January 2018, Neville went on to guide the team to the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup, and they won the SheBelieves Cup earlier that year.
The announcement that he was set to leave the post in July 2021 came in April last year, following the decision to postpone the England-hosted European Championship from 2021 to 2022 as the sporting calendar was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“It has been an honour.”
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) January 18, 2021
The team had just had a disappointing campaign at the SheBelieves Cup, where two defeats made it seven losses in 11 games. They have not played an international match since, with friendlies against Germany and Norway being cancelled.
Neville said in the FA’s statement announcing his departure: ‘It has been an honour to manage England and I have enjoyed three of the best years of my career with the FA and the Lionesses.
‘The players who wear the England shirt are some of the most talented and dedicated athletes I have ever had the privilege to work with. They have challenged me and improved me as a coach, and I am very grateful to them for the fantastic memories we have shared.’
“I remember writing down that every single day I’ve got to inspire my team, and from the very first day, the team inspired me.”
Best wishes for the future, Phil! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/JhtOukAike
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) January 18, 2021
Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA’s director of women’s football, said Neville had made ‘a significant contribution during his three years with the FA’ and added: ‘We will be in a position to provide an update soon on an interim appointment, as well as provide a further update on the coaching situation regarding Team GB.’
Neville succeeds Diego Alonso at Inter Miami after the Uruguayan parted ways with the club earlier this month.
Under Alonso, in Inter Miami’s maiden MLS season last year, they finished 10th in the Eastern Conference and were then eliminated from the MLS Cup playoffs in the ‘play-in’ round.
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