Phil Neville claims Inter Miami interview was most difficult ever as ex-Manchester United star insists he wasn’t just handed the job by David Beckham

Phil Neville has insisted he was not just ‘given’ the Inter Miami job by his friend and former Manchester United teammate David Beckham.

In fact, the former England Lionesses head coach says the interview process for the manager’s job at the MLS club ‘was as difficult as any I’ve experienced’.

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Neville was appointed boss of the new Beckham-backed MLS franchise in January, and immediately faced claims he was ‘given the job by his mate’.

That’s exactly what Simon Jordan said, with the outspoken talkSPORT pundit claiming Neville only got the role because of his relationship with Becks and ‘was not appointed on merit’.

Beckham has fired back at those ‘mates rates’ claims and Phil’s twin sister Tracey backed him as well, revealing to talkSPORT that Phil was always the most passionate coach in the family and fully deserves his new role and move to the United States.

Tracey returned to the talkSPORT studios on Friday, sitting in for Darren Bent on Drivetime, and surprised host and big United fan Andy Goldstein by arranging a live interview with her twin brother.

Goldstein couldn’t resist a cheeky joke about how hard the interview process was, following the rumours.

David Beckham is the president of MLS side Inter Miami
Getty Images – Getty

But Neville insisted, while he had Beckham’s backing, it was the club’s other co-owners that needed convincing.

“When I was looking at this job I have to say, and you’re probably not going to believe me, but the interview process was as hard as any I have done,” said the Miami manager.

“In terms of convincing – not David, David knows my qualities and we’d been speaking about this for a long time – but the other owners, the Mas family who are major shareholders in the organisation, they wanted to know and they wanted to pick the right person.

“They had sacked a manager after 12 months which they didn’t want to do, and they knew they had to make big, big changes and they have invested a lot of money into the facilities.

“Our training ground is worth £80m and it’s as good as anything in European football – it’s the best in America.

“Ultimately they liked me, they employed me and we’ve got off to a good start.”

Neville and Beckham grew up together as part of Manchester United’s ‘Class of ’92’ academy stars

Neville joined Miami ahead of only their second ever season in Major League Soccer.

Diego Lopez, who previously coached Mexico team Monterrey, was in charge for their inaugural campaign but was sacked after winning just seven in 23 games and finishing 10th in the 14-team Eastern Conference.

Neville’s first term in charge is now underway, with the former United and Everton defender two games in.

Asked how he’s settled in across the pond and about his team’s start to the new season, he told talkSPORT: “We’ve been out here for two-and-a-half months now.

“The season has started, we’ve got our third game on Sunday. We lost the first game but played well, and we won the second game which was a big victory, really, to get your first victory in the league, and the boys played well.

“I’m loving it – the weather is incredible, the facilities and training ground is as good as anything I’ve been involved in. So I’m loving it.

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“The owners have spent a lot of money and they wanted to create a culture around the club, so people are getting in early, we have breakfast together, we get in the gym and do all the prehabilitation and watch videos together before training, which wasn’t happening last season.

“So we just tried to create a culture that we see as normal – what the Lionesses do, what [speaking to Tracey] your netball girls did when you were the manager.

“The players have loved it. We’ve got Gonzalo HIguain who is a world-class player, we’ve got Blaise Matuidi who is a World Cup winner, they just see this as part of what they’ve done as part of their career. They have been great and taken on everything we have wanted.

“And we are expected to win the MLS title this season. David, as one of the owners, everything he’s done he’s wanted to win and wanted to be the best at, and we’ve got the best training ground in America.

“So everything we do is we want to win. The owners have backed me, we’ve brought in 12 new players, so we’ve got to win every game – that’s the expectation on our shoulders.

“But that’s the expectation I and the players want. It’s the most competitive league in the world, where literally any team in the league can beat any team, and there’s not a league in the world where you travel through three time zones and play in so many different climates.

“It’s a really difficult league and a brutal league if you don’t get it right.”

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