Valencia legend Santiago Canizares says Gary Neville 'treated opportunity to coach club as a JOKE' in blistering attack

GARY NEVILLE treated coaching Valencia as 'a joke', according to club legend Santiago Canizares.

The former Manchester United star took charge of the LaLiga side in December 2015, following the resignation of predecessor Nuno Espirito Santo.

But things didn't go to plan, as he was sacked just four months later – having won just three of his 16 league games in charge.

And Canizares, 51, who played 400 times for Los Che between 1998 and 2008, pulled no punches when asked about Neville's tenure by the Mirror.

Rather than giving a full interview, he merely wrote of Neville, 46: "That man treated the opportunity to coach Valencia as a joke. He is not worthy of my opinion, nor any of my respect."

Neville famously failed to win any of his first nine LaLiga matches in charge at the Mestalla.

But the real tipping point came after his side's woeful 7-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg.

While fans were calling for Neville's exit by this point, Guilherme Siqueira, who played that night, retains a fondness for his former boss – even revealing to the Mirror that he was a 'father' figure.

He said: "Gary was always available to help us.

"After that Barcelona game, in the bus on the way back to the airport he sat with us at the back and, despite the language barrier, spoke like a friend and a father. Not many managers would do that.


"He said ‘we’re going to forget about this, it’s not anyone’s fault’, and those details made him stand out."

While things didn't work out, Siqueira, 34, would still like to give Neville a 'big hug'.

He continued: "Tactically we understood what he wanted but we couldn’t execute it and couldn’t get the results.

I used to play as him on the PlayStation and it was great to work under him

"The players weren’t good enough at the end of the day and we take responsibility.

"Nevertheless, I have a lot of affection for Gary. He treated me very well, and it's a shame things didn’t work out. I used to play as him on the PlayStation and it was great to work under him.

"He was sad he had to leave, as he and his brother were happy with life in Valencia, but as we know in football if the results aren’t good unfortunately these things happen. I would love to give him a big hug."

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