/Global Soccer: Valencia Pins Its Hopes on England’s Neville Brothers

Global Soccer: Valencia Pins Its Hopes on England’s Neville Brothers

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Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, left, tussled with Valencia’s Danilo Barbosa da Silva in a game fought to a 1-1 tie. Valencia’s new English coach has a six-month contract with the Singaporean owner.

Credit
Manuel Bruque/European Pressphoto Agency

LONDON — The Neville brothers of Manchester, England, began one of the great leaps of faith in Valencia, Spain, over the weekend.

Gary Neville, the television pundit who is being catapulted into team coaching at the highest level, watched from the stands as the players he will assume responsibility for as head coach with immediate effect fought to a spirited 1-1 tie against the best team in the world, Barcelona.

It is seldom cold in the old concrete arena that is Valencia’s stadium, the Mestalla. But when Barça’s renowned front three — Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suárez — wasted a handful of scoring opportunities in the first half, Neville appeared frigid in concentration as he looked down upon the…

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