Gary Neville has been appointed as the new head coach of Valencia following the resignation of Nuno Espirito Santo.
Neville will reunite with his brother Phil, who has been working as a coach at the Mestalla since the summer. Gary will take charge of Valencia for the first time against Lyon in the Champions League next Wednesday, four days after Los Che go head-to-head with European champions Barcelona.
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Valencia CF President Layhoon Chan told the club’s official website: “We are delighted to have secured Gary so quickly: “He combines top level coaching experience through his role as a senior coach with the England national team and a world-class playing career with England and Manchester United”.
“Throughout his career Gary has always shown great leadership both on and off the pitch. He is hugely respected in English football and it was his personal qualities which persuaded us that he was the right choice to lead Valencia until the end of the season."
Gary Neville statement
Gary Neville, meanwhile, 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.”
Huge test for Neville
It will be a huge test for Neville, 40, who is widely regarded as one of the most talented young coaches in Britain.
Valencia are currently ninth in the La Liga table - having picked up five wins and four draws from their opening 13 matches - and Neville will be under pressure to ensure the club finish the season inside the top four.
Roy Hodgson delighted for Neville
Speaking after the announcement, England head coach Roy Hodgson told the Football Association’s official website: “I'm delighted that Gary has decided to take this excellent opportunity. It's the right moment in time for him and I'm 100 per cent behind his decision to join Valencia as the new head coach.
“As far as I’m concerned, this will be an extra string to his bow and the experience he will gain working in the Spanish league can only be beneficial to our work together with the England team.
“Gary’s commitment to The FA’s preparations for Euro 2016 will not be in any way affected by the fact that he will be coaching abroad during the next five months.
"As someone who has spent a large part of my coaching career working abroad, I salute his decision and hope he gains as much from his time in Spain as I have done from the various countries which I have worked.
"Like the rest of the England coaching staff, Gary will be fully committed to preparing for the Euros in France and our friendly matches which begin in March against Germany and Holland.
"I wish him and his brother Phil the very best of luck as they prepare for their first match versus Lyon in the Champions League."
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