Phil Neville reveals David Beckham told him to be 'harder on Romeo than anyone else'


Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville has lauded Romeo Beckham’s start to life on the pitch as the son of a footballing legend. 

Inter co-owner David Beckham told the manager that he wants Romeo to earn his place in the side. 

The 19-year-old followed in his father’s footsteps, making his debut as a professional footballer for Inter’s sister side Fort Lauderdale on Sunday. 

Romeo Beckham has to work 'harder' than everyone else according to his father David

Romeo Beckham has to work ‘harder’ than everyone else according to his father David 

The 19-year-old made his debut for Fort Lauderdale on Sunday playing 79 minutes on the wing

The 19-year-old made his debut for Fort Lauderdale on Sunday playing 79 minutes on the wing

But Neville has revealed that Beckham is keen for his son to earn his place rather than using his status as Golden Balls’ son to forge his career.

Neville said: ‘I think the first thing that David said to me was, ‘You have got to be harder on him than anyone else’.

‘He has got to work harder than anyone else to get into that team because there will be questions, there will be expectations on his shoulders.’

Romeo started on the right wing, just like his father used to do for Manchester United and England, before being hooked off on 79 minutes without a goal or an assist to his name.   

Romeo signed terms with Miami's reserve side Fort Lauderdale at the start of September

Romeo signed terms with Miami’s reserve side Fort Lauderdale at the start of September

The teenager did, however, show some flashes of brilliance and linked up well with Harvey Neville – son of former United star and current Miami head coach Phil – who started for Fort Lauderdale in the middle of the park. 

The Beckham and Neville sons combined well in the 57th minute of the match, with Romeo putting in a testing cross which his team-mate headed just wide.  

Fort Lauderdale took the lead twice in the first half through Mitchell Curry and George Acosta, in between Azaad Liadi’s first-half equaliser for Tormenta, but Marco Micaletto scored a late equaliser for the away side after Romeo had been taken off the pitch. 

The Inter head coach was impressed with Romeo’s display despite it lacking the same quality of his father’s illustrious career. 

Romeo shared a snap of his football kit hanging in the changing room

David also took to his Instagram story to share snaps from the pitch, including an image taken from a screen with writing over the top reading: 'Well done big boy, proud of you making your full pro debut'

Romeo shared a snap of his football kit in the dressing room as his father expressed his pride

‘I thought he did really well,’ Neville added.

‘I think the measure of his performance was that he was only planned to play 45 minutes, and he played nearly 80 minutes because he is a boy that is hungry.

‘He has got a lot of pressure and expectation on his shoulders, but what he has got is his feet firmly on the ground.

‘He knows he has got a lot of development to do, and he has got all the right attributes – character, determination, good person – to have a really good opportunity of making it in professional football.’

Romeo appeared alongside Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville's son Harvey (right)

Romeo appeared alongside Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville’s son Harvey (right)

Neville also spoke about how well liked Romeo already is in the Fort Lauderdale dressing room.

Neville noted: ‘He is so popular in the dressing room. He has obviously been brought up the right way by his parents.’ 

The match marked Romeo’s first outing in professional football having been involved in the game since his early teens. 

The winger was on the books at Arsenal alongside his brothers Brooklyn and Cruz, but quit the north Londoners’ academy in 2015 as his father revealed his son had separate interests other than football. 

While Romeo has undergone a modelling career since leaving the Gunners, the teenager kept playing football while he was studying at Millfield School, while he also trained under England’s attack coach Alan Russell, who also coaches the likes of Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling in individual sessions. 

Romeo signed professional terms with Fort Lauderdale just a few months after Harvey joined

Romeo signed professional terms with Fort Lauderdale just a few months after Harvey joined

He began training with his father’s team Inter Miami earlier this year, before signing professional terms with Fort Lauderdale at the start of September.

Romeo’s move came just a few months after Harvey Neville signed terms with the club, with the midfielder quitting the Manchester United academy this year to join the American side. 

Harvey’s father Phil was appointed as the Inter Miami head coach in January of this year and is currently guiding his side to a mid-table finish in his debut MLS season. 

Miami have an outside chance of reaching the MLS final series play-offs this season, with Neville’s side three points behind seventh-placed Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference, with 11 matches to go. 

While Beckham’s franchise have improved their results over the summer, which saw them go seven matches unbeaten in July and August, a 4-0 home defeat to New York Red Bulls on Saturday sent them crashing back down to earth.  

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