He’s a former Manchester United great who has made a name for himself as one of Britain’s most respected soccer pundits.
But Gary Neville is quitting the bright lights of TV to take up his first ever head coach position at Spanish club Valencia.
The 40-year-old will combine his new job with his role as part of Roy Hodgson’s coaching set up with the England national team.
Neville won eight English Premier League titles and two European Champions League crowns as a player, forging a dynamic partnership with David Beckham.
After retiring from the game he took up a role with Sky Sports, analyzing Premier League matches as part of their live coverage. Sky said he will always be welcome back.
Neville joins his brother Phil, also a former United player, at Valencia. The 38-year-old has been on the coaching staff under Nuno Espírito Santo, who resigned on November 30.
Manchester United – who could end up facing Valencia and the Nevilles in the Champions League – wished good luck to their former players.
They tweeted: ‘Good luck Gary and Phil Neville for the rest of the season with Valencia!’
Valencia – who saw Nuno Espirito Santo resign after their 1-0 defeat by Sevilla at the weekend – are owned by Peter Lim, who part-owns non-League Salford City along with the Neville brothers and their former Manchester United team-mates Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt.
Valencia are ninth in La Liga, having finished fourth last season, and are in danger of being knocked out of the Champions League next week – even if Neville wins his first game in charge. A Gent win at home to already-qualified Zenit will send the Belgians through.
In a statement on the official club website Neville said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be given this opportunity with Valencia.
“Valencia are a huge football club of immense standing and I know from my time as a player the passion and dedication of the Valencia fans.
“I am really looking forward to working with the club’s talented group of players and am excited about the challenge ahead.”
Source: BBC Sports