Connect with us


Why Lionel Messi joining Inter Miami meant Phil Neville was always going to be sacked as he tells Taylor Twellman how David Beckham broke devastating news to him



Phil Neville admits that Inter Miami’s deal for Lionel Messi meant he was always going to be sacked, with David Beckham forced to deliver that news.The ambitious MLS outfit completed the stunning signing of seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi in June – two weeks after parting company with former England Women’s coach Neville. The club had slumped to the foot of the Eastern Conference by that point, having taken just two wins from 13 games, and Neville concedes that the club were destined to appoint a new manager from the moment that an agreement with Messi became a possibility.Neville has told Taylor Twellman’s Offside podcast of being denied the opportunity to work with all-time great Messi in the United States: “I always had a feeling deep down I wasn’t going to be here 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.”Neville’s long-time friend Beckham – a fellow graduate from Manchester United’s fabled Class of ‘92 and now co-owner of Inter Miami – had to break the news that a change in the dugout was being made in Florida. Neville added on those talks: “They were incredibly honest to me. 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.”with the former Argentina and Barcelona boss the man to be benefiting from Messi’s considerable talents – with the 2022 World Cup winner having hit nine goals through six games for his latest club as he helps to fire them towards potential Leagues Cup glory.