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Neville tells his 'trick' to stop Cristiano Ronaldo

Gabby Barker

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English Gary Neville acknowledges his mistakes in his time at Valencia in the 2015-2016 season, making it clear that “the last thing he needed” so the Spanish team was “an inexperienced coach like him”, and blaming much of the blame for having been “weak” in making “big decisions” in the locker room or for not having fulfilled his “main role, trying to win football games.”

“Looking back, the last thing Valencia needed was an inexperienced coach and the last thing I needed was inexperienced staff”, Neville relates in the podcast 'Off Script' of 'Sky Sports', where he notes that “originally” he said no to Peter Lim. “Then I decided to do it for him because he had shown great faith in me and I wanted to pay him back,” he adds.

However, that was one of his failures. “It was a decision that I made in two days and that was influenced by a little arrogance and ego. I had been in one of the most successful clubs in the world for 20 years (Manchester United), I felt indestructible, “he admits.

“But I quickly discovered that when you're unprepared and you're faced with something you're not qualified for, then you get slapped“continues the oldest of the Neville brothers, who also talks about how the city was” a hotbed of soccer. “” I was a stranger in a city that I did not expect, “he says.

The former defense officer arrived at the Turia club warned by his brother Phil, an assistant with the Portuguese Nuno, that the locker room was “fractured”. “You should have seen the warning signs much faster and entered crisis mode there. Looking back, I underestimated being in a different league from a different country and the size of the job, “says the Englishman.

“I never dealt with my main role, which was trying to win soccer games. At first, it was clear that some players were not happy and I should have made big decisions about those who were not committed to the club at the time“Neville stresses, who doubted the possibility of having met opposition in the case of having separated someone.” That was weak on my part, it should have been decisive, “he regrets.

“When I left, I promised myself I would never weaken again with a big decision. I was weak for four months where I lost my confidence,” adds the former Manchester United player, who even went so far as not to “go to training” or not take part. ” in training sessions. ” He was also “ashamed” of having to use a translator to explain to the players, especially because he considers himself “a good communicator”.

“Valverde played with me like he was a puppet”

Gary Neville does not forget either that “the press and the media were brutal” with his figure. “I left many press conferences with the feeling that I had been questioned. There were also no fellow coaches who supported me. And honestly, sometimes he was totally overwhelmed against any of them in the technical zone“he remarks, emphasizing” especially “Ernesto Valverde, then Athletic.

“He changed his system three times and he was always one step ahead of me. It felt like he was playing with me, like he was a little puppet,” remembers. He also has words for Diego Pablo Simeone. “I felt that he was strangling me gently, he was torturing me in terms of football for 90 minutes. At the end of the game, I went to shake his hand and he passed me and I did not like that. Whatever happens, you go and shake your opponent's hand, that's respect, “he says.

Neville tells his 'trick' to stop Cristiano Ronaldo

“Leave the Mestalla lawn as a farm.” Gary Neville talks about his strategy to stop Cristiano and Bale when training Valencia. The match ended 2-2 and meant the removal of Rafa Benítez as coach of Real Madrid: “What I remember most about that game was our tactic of leaving the pitch very long and not watering so that the ball would not go so fast, hoping to stop Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. I left Mestalla like a farmer's field. Cristiano approached me before the game and said 'cut the field', and I said 'there is no chance'. It worked”.

Dismissal

Finally, he was dismissed in late March. “The players need a coherent message and believe in the process. I did not give them that. The most important thing that Valencia taught me was being clinical and decisive in decision making. When I look at the leaders, I want clarity, consistency and decisive actions, and I was neither of those things in Valencia, I was weak. Phil saw it firsthand and was very frustrated with me. He saw someone who had been very resistant, strong and robust throughout his life collapsing in front of him, in key principles such as allowing other people to lead, “says the former international.

Gabby is someone who is interested in all types of sports, she loves to attend watching matches live. Whenever there is a match being played in her city, she makes sure to get the tickets in advance. Due to the love for sports, she joined Sportsfinding, and started writing general sports news. Apart from writing the news, she is also the editor for the website who checks and edits every news content before they go live.

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