Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville was unveiled as the new coach of Valencia on Thursday. The 40-year-old has signed on with the club
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville was unveiled as the new coach of Valencia on Thursday.
The 40-year-old has signed on with the club until the end of the season.
At Valencia Neville joins up with brother Phil – an assistant coach at the Mestalla since July.
Neville brothers pic.twitter.com/Q9A2KHwObc
— Marco Red Devil (@MarcoRedDevil) December 2, 2015
He replaces Nuno Espirito Santo, who resigned after last weekend’s defeat to Sevilla, a result that has left the club ninth in La Liga.
The former England international told reporters it was a job opportunity he couldn’t turn down.
He said: “I’ve been offered jobs in football over these last four to five years. I think the timing has never felt right, I wanted to give myself some time to learn about different things coming out of football. But when I received the call on Sunday evening, I thought “what a football club, what an opportunity, what a challenge.”
GNev2</a> : I think it is reasonable to try to win every game, is the minimum goal <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WelcomeGaryNeville?src=hash">#WelcomeGaryNeville</a> <a href="https://t.co/xjWShQlZpu">pic.twitter.com/xjWShQlZpu</a></p>— Valencia CF English (valenciacf_en) December 3, 2015
Neville, who has never coached before, officially begins his duties on Sunday and will watch Saturday’s home game against leaders Barcelona from the stands.
His first game in charge however could be seen as an even more important fixture – a do-or-die Champions League home tie against Lyon on Wednesday.
The former right-back will remain a part of the England set up as assistant coach to Roy Hodgson – a role he has held since 2012.
As a player Neville was a one club man, spending his entire playing career at Manchester United.
At Old Trafford, under Sir Alex Ferguson, Neville won eight Premier League titles, two Champions League crowns and three FA Cups, among other silverware.
— Manchester United. (@UnitedCaptured) November 17, 2015
Valencia is owned by Singaporean Peter Lim who also has a stake in English non-league side Salford City, co-owned by the Neville brothers as well as his ‘class of 92’ teammates Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt.
Neville retired from playing football in 2011 and moved into the television studio for Sky Sports where he has been highly praised for his analytical assesment of matches and his forthright views.
But as he has never managed before, played or worked in Spain and doesn’t speak Spanish his job to win over a volatile and fickle Valencia faithful could prove difficult.
A win against Lyon on Wednesday will go a long way in calming some nerves over his appointment.