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21st Jul 2022

Phil Neville defends playing Romeo Beckham and his son in 6-0 loss to Barcelona

Daniel Brown

Phil Neville Harvey Romeo Beckham

‘I was super proud of them both.’

Inter Miami manager Phil Neville has defended playing his son, Harvey, and Romeo Beckham in the 6-0 defeat to Barcelona – insisting they had ‘earned the right’ to feature.

The MLS outfit were dominated by the Catalan giants on Tuesday night, with new Barcelona signing Raphinha scoring and assisting twice in a rampant display from the LaLiga club.

While neither Harvey, 20, nor 19-year-old Romeo – son of David Beckham – have featured for Inter Miami’s first-team in a competitive game, both players came on for the friendly match against Xavi’s side.

Harvey was brought on at half-time, while Romeo played the final five minutes. After the tie, Phil Neville rejected suggestions they were only involved because of their famous footballing fathers.

Asked about the pair, Neville said: “Well I think we put the two boys on at wing-back and the first thing you measure is temperament. Have they got the temperament to play in this game? I think both of them did.

“I was super proud of them both. Romeo only got on for the last five or six minutes, which is difficult, but they’d earned the right to get on.

“They both showed really good temperament and I think tonight we learned an awful lot.”

Neville believes it was a ‘brilliant learning experience’

Barcelona ran riot at the DRV PNK Stadium, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Raphinha, Ansu Fati, Gavi, Memphis Depay and Ousmane Dembélé all getting on the scoresheet.

Despite the heavy defeat, the Inter Miami manager believes it a ‘brilliant occasion’ to play against ‘world-class players’.

He added: “It was a big challenge for us, as you could see. We were playing against world-class players, two world-class teams in each half really.

“So it was a brilliant occasion to play in, you could feel the buzz in the air, the supporters – we’ve now experienced what a sold out Drive Pink [DRV PNK Stadium] feels like.

“I think from a playing point of view, the game was always going to be something for us to really enjoy.

“And we’ve got a lot of young players in there that will have taken some real valuable experiences about the level that you need to be at to play at the top, top level.

“I thought it was a brilliant learning experience for us all. It was difficult, we had to dig in, we had to fight, we had to accept that they were going to have a lot of possession of the ball and really to keep it to 6-0 was a real positive for us.

“It’s a great learning experience for everyone in the team and everyone got onto the pitch that we wanted to, got valuable experience, and they will have learnt an awful lot.”

Inter Miami have made an underwhelming start to their MLS campaign in the Eastern Conference, winning just seven of their opening 20 matches. Neville’s men currently sit ninth in the standings.

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