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Paul Scholes the master will be sadly missed

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Phil McNulty | 09:43 UK time, Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The cause was a losing one, but it was fitting that Paul Scholes played his final 14 minutes for Manchester United in opposition to the planet's finest footballer and the world's best club side.

Scholes has been operating on diminishing returns this season, both in appearances and influence, but Lionel Messi and Barcelona represented the sort of elite company he deserved to keep at the conclusion of a wonderful career.

Xavi, almost as brilliant as Messi as Barcelona outclassed United in Saturday's Champions League final at Wembley, interrupted his elation to seek out Scholes at the final whistle and it was no surprise.

He once described Scholes as "a reference" - an indication of the respect in which the 36-year-old was held around the world, a reverence that arguably outstripped appreciation in his own country.

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Sir Alex Ferguson, knowing defeat was inevitable, was almost certainly paying his own personal respects to Scholes by allowing him to bow out on club football's biggest stage before officially announcing his retirement.

There had been talk in recent years that "The Ginger Prince" might call time by playing out a season at his beloved Oldham Athletic. This was a non-starter because if there was any quality left in Scholes's game, and there still was, Ferguson was never going to allow anyone else to feel the benefit, however small.

And so this modest, understated man and magnificent footballer crosses the divide at Old Trafford, from player to coach, to pass on his knowledge to Manchester United's next generation. He may not use many words, but the young players should hang on every one of them.

It was typical that Scholes had already departed on a family holiday by the time his retirement was made official. Playing, and the honours that accompanied it in 676 games and 16 years as a United first-teamer, meant more to him than any tribute that came his way.

One personal memory that summed up Scholes came in Sapporo during the 2002 World Cup, when England prepared to play Argentina and he was making a rare public appearance at a press conference.

A huge contingent of Argentine journalists gathered at the front of the room and pushed one of their number to press Scholes with the question: "Who is your favourite footballer of all time?"

As they waited for what they expected as the inevitable coronation of their own icon and World Cup winner, Diego Maradona, Scholes shot back without hesitation: "Frankie Bunn." Cue utter bemusement.

With an irritated glance that questioned how they could not have heard of Bunn's stirring deeds, Scholes added: "Scored six goals in a League Cup tie for Oldham against Scarborough once, you know."

It was a moment that, in many respects, summed Scholes up. As comfortable in the footballing environment of Boundary Park as he was in a World Cup, but with a lot more to his personality than met the eye.

Scholes developed his game from striker, to goalscoring midfielder to all-round dictator of games for Manchester United and England. Ferguson would probably have loved to have somehow coaxed another six seasons out of him, but Scholes has judged the time to step aside is now.

He goes with a fanfare he will hate, no doubt preferring to disappear under the radar before reappearing in his new guise next season - but his achievements and ability must not allow that.

Sir Bobby Charlton ranked him among his favourite Manchester United players while Zinedine Zidane called him his "toughest opponent and the complete player".

Of course there was, as Arsene Wenger pointed out, a dark side to Scholes, in the shape of his wayward tackling, that sometimes scarred his career.

It was in evidence, perhaps with increasing frustration at his waning powers, as recently as the FA Cup semi-final defeat against Manchester City at Wembley when he was sent off for a reckless foul on Pablo Zabaleta.

But this can never overshadow the beauty of Scholes's game; his vision, range of passing and the ability to - as United's fans celebrated in a simple song - score goals. Goals of all shapes and sizes, long and close range. You name it - he scored them.

One glowing example of this rare talent was the 25-yard strike against Barcelona in the 2008 Champions League semi-final second leg at Old Trafford that sent United to Moscow to face Chelsea and allowed Scholes to fill the gap in his medal collection after he was suspended for the 1999 win against Bayern Munich in Barcelona.

Scholes was also perfectly at home when winning 66 England caps. His international career came to an unsatisfactory finish, badly misused and stuck out in unfamiliar territory on the left flank by Sven-Goran Eriksson in the searing heat of Portugal at Euro 2004, an experience that persuaded him to prematurely end his international career.

And yet his ability was so enduring that he almost made a return for the World Cup in South Africa last summer. England coach Fabio Capello, perhaps sensing the debacle about to unfold, attempted to persuade Scholes to come out of retirement - but left it too late for serious consideration.

Typically, part of Scholes's decision was based on his reluctance to take the place of any player who had helped England reach South Africa. On reflection, it was a tournament Scholes did well to miss. It was unlikely to have enhanced his reputation, such was the scale of England's collapse.

Scholes was not just an example on the field, he has been exemplary off it. No lurid headlines; indeed, no headlines at all unless they were football-related; a family man whose main priority, once his day's work was done at United's Carrington training centre, was the school run.

If he finds the time away from his new role, he might even dig out the cricket whites and revisit his short career with Middleton and Blackley, crashing leather with willow with the same perfect timing, precision and placement he has reserved for Manchester United for so long.

For Ferguson, Scholes's retirement presents a dilemma but one he is certain to have been prepared for. Ryan Giggs now stands alone from the famous class of 92 after Gary Neville's retirement earlier this season, and Ferguson has two midfield vacancies to fill after Owen Hargreaves lost his battle to rebuild his Old Trafford career after serious injury.

Scholes leaves a significant hole, and only players of the calibre of Inter Milan's Wesley Sneijder and Tottenham's Luka Modric can come close to filling it.

For now, though, Ferguson is happy to celebrate the midfielder's career: "What more can I say about Paul Scholes that I haven't said before? We are going to miss a truly unbelievable player."

Sentiments that will be shared and echoed far beyond Old Trafford.

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  • Comment number 1.

    As a Man Utd fan, I can speak for all of us when I say he will be sadly missed. The nickname "Sat Nav" couldn't have been more appropriate. Thanks for the memories Scholesy, a true legend of the game and a most professional sportsman.

  • Comment number 2.

    One of English football's modern greats. A fantastic player, and a complete gent.

    Football needs more of the likes of Scholes, and he will be sorely missed.

  • Comment number 3.

    The sight of Scholes's shot flying into Baracelona's top right hand corner of the net will live long in the memory

  • Comment number 4.

    honestly laughed out loud at the Frankie Bunn bit. nice tribute

  • Comment number 5.

    Over 600 games for the one club..speaks volumes i suggest. Sven-Goran Eriksson has a lot to answer for, only 66 caps, he could have had close to a 100..Best goal i ever saw was against Bradford a few years ago...WOW.
    Any manager would have loved to have him, even Fergie says he was the easiest person to manage, he just got on with it then went to pick up his kids..:)
    Sure he couldn't tackle but i think it would be churlish to dispose of his greatness just over that..Great player, thanks Paul for some great memories..

  • Comment number 6.

    It must make him cringe to know that he was sacrificed at the heart of the england midfield to make way for Frank Lampard Jnr.

    His finest season was 2002/2003, and peaked at his imperious best at this point. He should have been the pivotal part of an International side during this period, but sadly this opportunity was missed in Eriksson's counter attacking selection. (Spearheaded by Darius Vassell at times...)

    I feel he was a man for the big occasion in an England shirt also, he scored at France 98, Euro 2000, and Euro 2004. He grabbed a vital hat trick against Poland in 99, and got the winning double against Scotland the same year. Perhaps it was only Keegan who utilised him properly in an England jersey.

  • Comment number 7.

    As a Liverpool fan I have to say that I don't hate Paul Scholes. He's on a very short list!

  • Comment number 8.

    As a United supporter, I must admit that it was really painful to read about the retirement one of the best footballer of the century. It was more painful back than on 28th May when we lost to great team. It all burning the heat inside and outside the body. I am going to miss him forever. I hope he will be great coach for the young lads. I am very proud to be United supporter for this reasons, like Scholes, Giggs. Truly amazing. If there will be an autobiographical book of Scholes, I would defo get one.
    Thank you for the memories, and for the goal against Barca.

  • Comment number 9.

    Paul Scholes - great great player and example of how to play with dignity and without arrogance. Virtually unknown for a Man Utd player so well done him.

  • Comment number 10.

    Paul Scholes will live long in the memory. Not least for the question "Why did nobody ever teach him to tackle?".

    But more for being a classic midfield general that Man Utd will do well to find ever again.

    Can't help but feel that this might be a good time for SAF to go too. Can you really build a Barca beating side in 12 months?

  • Comment number 11.

    again, like #7 im a liverpool fan but Paul Scholes is one of the few united players I would actually cheer for. Great player, irreplaceable.

  • Comment number 12.

    To : MyVoiceinYrHead

    I guess Sir Alex is enough smart to make any decision of his retirement.

  • Comment number 13.

    Everyone that enjoys watching English football will retain positive memories of Paul Scholes. Genuinely deserving of the term 'legend' at Manchester United.

  • Comment number 14.


    "If there will be an autobiographical book of Scholes, I would defo get one"

    I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that there won't be. It's just the type of guy he is. LEGEND.

  • Comment number 15.

    Greatest English midfielder of the last 20 years.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    I was missing him already after Christmas.
    He is a legend though, he can't tackle, but his passing, shot, vision, all make up for any shortcomings.
    This is a guy who would have thrived in Spain, many coaches, past and present have openly applauded the man.
    It wasn't just mind games from Barcelona recently, they genuinely look at Scholes as a legend.
    And I, along with all of the United fans, as well as many other supporters, see him as a legend too.
    Hope him all the best in his coaching role.

  • Comment number 18.

    Can't help but feel that this might be a good time for SAF to go too. Can you really build a Barca beating side in 12 months?


    Mourinho did in 2 years at Inter, so I'd say Fergie could.

  • Comment number 19.

    One of very few man united players ever that has been respected by rival fans, from agelong rivals in Liverpool and Man City to newer rivals in Arsenal and Chelsea, tells you all you need to know about the man.

    I cant wait to see what happens to the development of some of the talented midfield youngsters in Pogba, Morisson and Tunniclife under the coaching of Scholes.

  • Comment number 20.

    I hope this is allowed, but I found this post earlier today and some might like it:

  • Comment number 21.

    When the likes of Zidane, Henry and Rooney say he is the best player of his generation/they've played against, etc., it speaks volumes. When Pep Guardiola singled him out as fit to grace his team it was confirmation of the regard he is held in.

    I remember his debut for England, how he nonchalantly set up Ian wright then scored a goal of his own. His one touch football create space for all his teammates. Yes, he'll be sorely missed.

    What is especially pleasing about him is reflected in the t-shirts united fans wear in his honour "Get up, go to work, play the game, get showered, go home." And HOW he could play the game.

    Hope he teaches a new generation how to pass, but maybe not how to tackle...

  • Comment number 22.

    Anyone using this blog to vent their jealousy of SAF should have a little more respect. If you want to claim he should retire too or that he has passed it because of a game no-one but Barca would have won, then go and do it on another forum:

    Back on topic:

    Scholes- Wow! What a player, what an example to any generation of footballer about how to conduct yourself on and off the pitch (tackling aside). He is an all time great - more league titles than any player from any club in the history of English football, bar Ryan Giggs. A range of passing unmatched by any player, and an unstoppable shot. These kind of players come along very rarely and should be celebrated by all supporters of football. I hope he instills his character in the already successful reserve and youth teams. With his influence, these could be the greats of the next 20 years.

    Congratulations on a great career and thanks for all the entertainment.


  • Comment number 23.

    under rated

  • Comment number 24.

    10.At 12:57 31st May 2011, MyVoiceinYrHead wrote:
    Paul Scholes will live long in the memory. Not least for the question "Why did nobody ever teach him to tackle?".

    I suspect Vinnie Jones and John Fashanu did

  • Comment number 25.

    @16.... you stupid man. Easily one of the finest central midfielders to have ever lived and you're complaining that he makes the odd crunching challenge?

    If anyone's a disgrace, it isn't Paul Scholes, it's you.

  • Comment number 26.

    Best English player I've ever seen. He was a continental player who was english. He wasn't tall, he wasn't quick. How he managed to play football in this country I don't know. We usually get short, rapid headless chickens for wingers, tall useless strikers and midfielders that barely know how to play the game compared to average continental players. Instead we were bless with a short, ginger genius. Who could ping a football where ever he wanted.

    The goals against Barca and Villa were the best. Also, go and watch the highlights of the FAcup match vs arsenal this year. Towards the end, Scholes plays a pass that no one in the world could've played with pinpoint accaracy.

    You will be missed. If England find anyone else nearly as good as you, lets hope they don't waste them like they did you.

  • Comment number 27.

    Liverpool fan here, but I'd just like to say how frustrating it is that it's taken until probably the last 3-4 years for Scholes to get the recognition he deserves. It was probably only when it came to light that England needed a player that was imperious and decisive in possession that it clicked. Oh hang on, we have one, but we wasted him on the left of midfield.

    I remember a fantastic insight from Roy Keane a few years back when he was questioned about Scholes' tackling, and Keane just smiled, and said 'He knows exactly what he's doing. He's nasty'. All the best players have that bit of bite, and credit to Ferguson for not coaching it out of him.

    Above all though, a truly amazing player. I've never seen an English player as gifted as this guy, and I think it will be a long time before he's surpassed. Deserves to be remembered as one the greatest.

  • Comment number 28.

    Theres no room for hating paul scholes, he's the complete proffessional and an excellent distributor and goalscorer. Id always defend frank lampard as one of englands best midfielders of the modern age( his goalscoring ratio is phenomenal) but even he cant touch scholes

  • Comment number 29.

    As a sort of 'lapsed' Man. u. fan, in much the same way as some catholic's become lapsed catholic's, I must say the bloke was a great footballer, and I'm sorry to see him go.
    And such a quiet, family, man off the pitch, too.. There's much for young, and older, players to learn from a guy like Scholes.
    Sure, his tackling was totally at odds with the rest of his game, and sometimes he looked a bit hot-headed, and dare I say, dirty. But then there's many a player who had the dirty side, and none of the skills that Scholes posessed.

    All in all - a Legend!

  • Comment number 30.

    @28 Chels_or_else

    I agree, Lampard or Gerrard, who are great players, cant touch Scholes. Then again, I reckon Scholes might have got more goals if he played in a 4-5-1 formation with the freedom to get forward, for a good proportion of his career.

  • Comment number 31.

    A sad day for Man United and football. I don't think we will ever see the likes of Paul Scholes in a long long time. I will miss watching him play, he's a joy to watch no matter which team you support.
    I still think he could have contributed for next season, albeit as a squad player. His performance against Newcastle on the opening day of the season proved how influential he is on the field. However, I don't think Scholes is happy to be involved as a squad player and sit on the bench for most of the time. He wants to start every game so fair play to him.
    My favourite memory was him scoring that cracker at Villa Park in the 06/07 season, as well as his volley against Bradford.
    His best season was probably in 2002/03. Should have won player of the year that season, he was outstanding. He is the most underrated player I can think of, and didn't get the international recognition he deserved.
    Thank you for everything Scholesy! A true United legend.

  • Comment number 32.

    Quite simply a legend. One of the finest midfielder's i've ever seen and the fact that the likes of Zidane, Xavi, Figo etc say the same thing shows how good he really was. Lets hope some of his skills rub off onto the next generation he'll now be coaching.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    is this blog serious? Scholes isnt and never was a world class player. he stayed at one club because he was comfortable and never fancied the challenge of testing himself abroad. he went AWOL from england duty because he was out of his comfort zone and couldnt handle the comeptition that his club never put him under because of the hype they surrounded him with. yes he can pass and yes he's a good pro off the field but world class? youre having a laugh! look at zidane, played in 3 countries, several top clubs, won everything for club and country. thats world class. im not even a liverpool or city fan but i will not be blinded by the english medias attempt to once again overhype the average. shame on the BBC for trying to jump on the bandwagon. ask any fan outside of the gullible lot if they would rather have had a young Pires or a young scholes in their team and Pires would win hands down and Pires wouldnt even be considered to be world class but atleast he didnt let his country down...

  • Comment number 35.

    Very Good player yes, but most gifted English midfielder???? did any of you ever see Gazza for the couple of seasons he was at his best before the injury? Gazza was at the next level to Scholes.
    I did rate Scholes and admired the way he's lived his life, but for me Charlton, hoddle and Gazza were were more gifted than him.

  • Comment number 36.

    @ 16. Your a fool!

    Everyone always says that English players lack the technical ability that European players do, and that is why we always lose... Paul Scholes was the only English player that had the technical ability, vision, passing!

    There are far worse players for what your slating scholes for. Patrick Vieira was a fantastic tackler when he wanted to be, but chose to be terrible in a bid to hurt people! Thats worse than just being plain bad! At least he didn't go in "trying" to hurt people!

  • Comment number 37.


    Messi, Xavi and Iniesta have always played, and will always play at, one club.

    Does that mean they're not world class?

  • Comment number 38.

    I am a Liverpool supporter but apart from tackling (it really was that bad you can almost laugh at it now!!!!!!!!!! ), Paul Scholes is the epitomy of what a true top class footballer should be.

    You do not get accolades from the likes of Zidane, the admiration of the current genuises at Barca, or indeed the totally partisan supporters of other clubs, without that.

  • Comment number 39.

    ~34, You mention Zidane to back up your arguement. Zidane is openly one of his greatest admirers. Your arguement in flawed. You're an arsenal fan aren't you?!

  • Comment number 40.

    @ wal_sol Didn't you hear what Arsene Wenger had to say about Scholes? You obviously don't understand anything about football if you don't think Scholes is world class.
    Zidane himself said that Scholes was the best midfielder of his generation...that's enough.

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    Wal_sol is my favourite person on here. I really hope that he's intelligent and is just trolling this forumish place to his own personal amusement. He will always side against the majority of opinion, in this case the pro-Scholes stance. My hope that the human behind the persona we see sees Scholes as one of the most gifted players England have been blessed with.

  • Comment number 43.

    37 - are you mustic meg? funny how you know what a 23 year old will 'always' do. whats tomorrows lottery numbers?

    39 - dont worry about who i support, im not an arsenal fan. im a football fan. you say Zidane was his biggest 'admirer'. i assume that youre quite good friends with zidane then? or youve spoken to zidane? or you know a friend of zidanes? or you know zidanes sisters, brothers, cousins dog? No? well before you try to act smart by saying my argument is flawed try having an argument yourself. players always say they liek other players, basically because they face the question everyday - ive heard zidane say that Figo was the best player he's played against/with. youve heard him say scholes. how many other players do you reckon he's mentioned? plasticmanc? arent you all?!

  • Comment number 44.

    I'm a liverpool fan, but I can't help but admire a true English great. Wish he could have completed a season at Oldham, would have been class to watch.

    Iniesta was quick to run over to him after the final at the weekend and swapped shirts with him, and Xavi loves him. Amazing striker of the ball, amazing passer, and amazing that he stayed at the top for 16 years, and stayed out of the limelight.

  • Comment number 45.

    McNulty should be sacked to cut costs, not getting rid of 606.

  • Comment number 46.

    At 14:02 31st May 2011, wal_sol wrote:
    So by your definition, Messi isn't world class? Xavi isn't world class? Iniesta isn't world class?

  • Comment number 47.

    42 - whats there to troll, can you really regard a player who has quit on his country and couldnt tackle for toffee a world class player? obviously going by your username you will say yes. what are scholes' acheivements? he's never carried united, he's presence alone has never made a huge difference. he's a good squad player with a good pass on him. when Xabi Alonso retires will the BBC write a blog about the 'brown hair prince'?

  • Comment number 48.

    Also, if I was a player and I was considered to be just awful at tackling and I could use that as an excuse, I'd play along.

  • Comment number 49.


    Wow. Hitting the heights of facetiousness there, aren't you?

    Back to the actual point... By your own logic, do you agree that until Messi moves to a different league, there's no way he can be considered world class? I doubt it somehow.

  • Comment number 50.

    Five FC Barcelona players were eager to swap shirts with Paul Scholes after the CL final on Saturday night. Xavi, Busquets, Messi and Pedro walked up to Scholes, but Andres Iniesta beat them all to it. All of them felt that, that night could be the last time they face him. Sat Nav. No Comments.

  • Comment number 51.

    44 - English great? ask Sven his opinion on that. left that good man high and dry days before a world cup? yeah, thats greatness.

    46 - Messi will move eventually and xaxi and Iniesta have won world cups, they have nothing else to play for.

  • Comment number 52.


    Look at wal_sol's post history.

    Talks about United more than I do.

    You're obsessed, mate! Get a hobby!

  • Comment number 53.

    49 - so youre now comparing Messi to Scholes?

  • Comment number 54.

    Absolute legend, hugely talented, great attitude and an unquenchable desire both for sucess and to drive it the later trait being why he was never likely to sign on for a season as a part timer really.

    I cant help think anyone who denies so eoither hasn't watched much football or has only seen his later years as his role changed in his prime as a goalscoring midfielder and creator he was a class apart from anything else in the league or most of europe and yes he had some niggle or a dark side as Wenger called it but pretty much every great has some of that as guys that driven and competative aren't liekly to be easy going still don't know how in 20 years he never learnt to tackle though?

  • Comment number 55.

    Apparently the moderators here won't allow anyone to suggest that Scholes "inability" to tackle was something other than mere incompetence.

  • Comment number 56.

    Blimey Phil,
    That's another Man Utd tribute blog from you. That's five in a row, now.
    I'm sure that there are other subjects and teams that you could write about.

  • Comment number 57.

    One of the best players I've seen in 29 years of being alive (and thats from a blue) shame he can't tackle or he'd be even better IMO. Fantastic all the same

  • Comment number 58.

    wal sol
    Why on Earth you have read about Scholes? I wonder.
    Get it real mate.

  • Comment number 59.

    52 - so i have an opinion and funnily enough the last week weve only had blogs on united cos of the champions league. sue me. or better still get SAF to ban me.

  • Comment number 60.

    At 14:23 31st May 2011, wal_sol wrote:

    49 - so youre now comparing Messi to Scholes?


    No. Obviously not. Are you dense?

    I'm trying to extract your bizarre logic of "he's only played in one league therefore he can't be world class" to its most ridiculous extent.

    Messi, Xavi and Iniesta provide rather glaring and current exceptions to your strange little rule.

  • Comment number 61.

    ~43, Yes me and Zidane go way back. In fact he's sat here with me now. I just asked him what he thinks, he agrees that i'm right. :-)
    I meant no malice, so why so much anger in your tone? don't bother to reply, i'm not really interested why.
    And you've made an inaccurate assumption on my username. I don't really care about that either, so no riposte need be made.

  • Comment number 62.

    You will always be short of superlatives when you talk about Scholes's football career.

    The fact that he reached sublime heights in football without allowing fame and money to become major issue in his personal life makes him an example to follow for future generations.

    Can you find another so talented footballer but yet so modest, one-club-man and so private in his personal life?

  • Comment number 63.

    wal sol.
    It's up to Phil about who to blog or about which team to blog. Be an objective, and real .......

  • Comment number 64.

    At 14:21 31st May 2011, wal_sol wrote:

    44 - English great? ask Sven his opinion on that. left that good man high and dry days before a world cup? yeah, thats greatness.

    46 - Messi will move eventually and xaxi and Iniesta have won world cups, they have nothing else to play for.
    Wait, so aren't Xavi and Iniesta staying in their comfort zones then? They should move to another league, scratch that, they should change nationality! Yes, that's it!

  • Comment number 65.

    Is this article and these posts about the Paul Scholes who played for Manchester Utd until last weekend or another player with the same name?

    Because my memories of Paul Scholes are of someone who thought the game was about kicking other players and not the ball (which he would reach out and touch with his hand from time to time), who ended up with more yellow and red cards than medals and who always reminded me of an insolent squaddie.

  • Comment number 66.

    Hmmm... now who should I listen to? Xavi, Zidane, Iniesta, Davids, Guardiola, Charlton, Vieira, Fabregas, Henry, Mourinho, Lippi, Best, Hoddle, Venables and Strachan?...

    Or wal_sol?

    It's a tough one, that's for sure.

  • Comment number 67.

    I can't.
    He is a special human being. And a great gift from God to Manchester United. To have him in our team was a fantastic.

  • Comment number 68.

    60 - i also mentioned that another reson why he cant be world class is because eh elt his country down. yuo left that little bit out. say what you want about Xavi and Iniesta but thats not soemthing theyve ever done. and hold on, Scholes has just retired. why doy uo assuem that those 3 wont move before they retire?

  • Comment number 69.

    On the england point the treatment of scholes by Sven was pathetic he knew he was his best player or there abouts but had a fixation of fitting him, Gerrard and Lampard into one midfield ignoring you had to ask 2 of those guys to sacrifice what they are best (schoels was every inch the AM at that point) at to accomadate the others and therefore unsuprisingly failing to get any of them to perform consistently at a similar level to that they did for there clubs. Had he just accepted he needed a "watercarrier" in there to do the less glamorous side and possibly use an alternative formation to accomadate 2 of them if that was felt necessary but no he put square pegs in round holes and well ultimately Scholesy felt disillusioned with it and given his diliek of teh mielight anyway why would he have carried on?

  • Comment number 70.

    @65 - You clearly haven't watched much football then.. If the likes of Zidane and Iniesta say he's one of the best of all time and the best of a generation they are probably correct. Yes he was terrible at tackling but that was only a small part of his game.

    As for Wal_Sol - I dont know why people even bother to respond to him, talks rubbish and only here to argue...Ignore it and it will eventually get bored and go away ;)

  • Comment number 71.

    One of the stand-out Englsh players of his generation without a doubt.

    Some people will debate the 'legend' tag but as a United fan he is worthy of that status and has proven himself against opponent of a similar stature in the European and International game.

    Scholesy you were priceless that was why SAF would never have sold you...

  • Comment number 72.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 73.


    Yes he retired from England, completely under appreciated and played out of position. Regarding being played out of position, Gerrard and Lampard dont have the technique Scholes does, so I feel one of them should've been dropped. Also being the gifted player he was, Sven may have felt he was good enough to switch there and play on the left.

    You say he doesn't carry United. I agree and disagree. He doesn't score the winning goals like Ruud or Ronaldo used to every week. However, being able to pass and move and control the tempo of the game is priceless. No one else at United can do this. He was no Zidane, who I consider the best player ever, but even Zidane admired him.

    Also Xabi Alonso is one of the best passers of the ball I've ever seen, in terms of vision and range, and I feel when he was at Liverpool, he made a massive difference. He was bigger for Liverpool than Torres I feel for almost the same reason as Scholes' importances to United. You need people who can keep the ball when needed to, and also play the pinpoint, cross field through ball when needed to.

  • Comment number 74.

    i also mentioned that another reson why he cant be world class is because eh elt his country down. yuo left that little bit out.


    you can't even spell, letting your country down with every post

  • Comment number 75.

    to: swindonbluearmy
    Agree with you. Cheers.

  • Comment number 76.

    @65 I presume you are very young then as Scholes of the late 90s and early 00s was phenomenol to watch. Even this season the way he flicks the ball left and right without seeming to look (yet knowing exactly where everyoen was) is exactly why he is the best english midfielder of this generation. The boo boys need to grow up and look back on great moments.

    For me the Barca goal was better than Bradford, but never tire in watching both. He was a player who had a great ratio of keeping the ball down when shooting, not many players manage to get their head over the ball and hit it so effortlessly the way Scholes did.

    Will be sorely missed (although the one silver lining is this forces Ferguson and Glazer's hands in the transfer market)

  • Comment number 77.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 78.


    If either of Xavi or Iniesta had been single players in the mediocre England set-up of the last 15 years, who's to say they wouldn't have got the hump and left, especially if they'd been treated as Scholes was by Eriksson.

    It's easy to enjoy your international career if you're surrounded by other quality players and you're winning stuff.

  • Comment number 79.

    By the way, one of the favourite goal was when we were at 2 time a league game in OT, we were loosing by that time 0-1 i Guess against Blackburn (Firedel), and how he managed to produce a piece of magic to put the ball at the back of the net, wow.

  • Comment number 80.

    Legend. Best English player ive ever seen by quite a fair bit, ability to control a game that even xavi and iniesta would struggle to do on their own.

    Actually gutted ill never get to see him play another competitive match for United

  • Comment number 81.

    @65 - can you name a player that ended their career with fewer yellow and red cards than medals?

    JohnFitzpatrick, you are a numpty!

  • Comment number 82.

    Its hard to say Paul Scholes was a "once in a lifetime" player.
    Look at the achievements of the rest of the so called Class of '92...What Manchester had was an entire team chock full of these "once in a lifetime" players.
    He, however will be missed, I suspect, more than the others.
    Enjoy your retirement & best of luck in your new career.

  • Comment number 83.

    90 yellow cards , 11 red cards - never will be world class.

  • Comment number 84.


    did your mother not send you to school?

  • Comment number 85.

    Tackled like a combine harvester on an skating rink, surprised he ever got a red card as most people should see him coming a mile off and take evasive action.

    But scored great goals in his prime for club and country.

  • Comment number 86.

    i miss 606

  • Comment number 87.


    153 idiotic posts... definately world class

  • Comment number 88.

    At 14:39 31st May 2011, wal_sol wrote:

    90 yellow cards , 11 red cards - never will be world class.


    You really have given up even trying to form a cogent argument, haven't you?

    Do yourself a favour and jog on. It's getting embarrassing.

  • Comment number 89.

    He's obviously alot of people's hero.
    A good footballer in an over exposed football era.
    I have better heroes.

  • Comment number 90.

    Theres nothing to say about Scholes that hasn't already been said. I am so glad that he has picked to go now rather than try and force another season or two. Its my biggest critisism of Gary Neville, and it may well be my biggest critisism of Ryan Giggs depending on how next season pans out for him.

    We are old enough to recognise the genius of these players, and therefore we appreciate them for what they can do despite the age. Younger United fans just won't see it like we do and it would be a real shame if it got to the point where their inclusion would be greeted with groans rather than a smile.

    Its the way I felt with Gary during the past two years (I know I know I should be ashamed of myself), but Scholes leaves just as his powers are reaching a tipping point. Very well done.

    Moreover I saw the interview on the BBC. A cool head. Looking forward to his input as coach. Modest, calm and measured in his approach. Just like his passes and nothing like his tackles ;).

    The next phase of the United revolution is in motion.

    VDS, Gary Neville, Owen Hargreaves and Scholes out. Owen's contract may not be renewed. Strong rumours that Berbatov and Brown are on their way out. Giggs retirement is imminent (most likely mid way through or at the end of next season).

    I do enjoy a good rebuild. Some of the best parts of being a United fan is watching a new batch of players come in and stamp their own identity onto the United way. The stop-gap squad of the past two years was unfortunately rather uninspirational, but then again they were just that...a stop-gap effort. A Carling Cup, 1 Premier League trophy and 1 Champions League runners up medal aint so bad on reflection. Darned good actually.

  • Comment number 91.

    Please BBC hire me for the position of Moderator, I would let wal sol know what's BBC ;-) LOL

  • Comment number 92.

    Is Paul Scholes the English Xavi?

    [Xavi interrupts, almost bursting with enthusiasm] Paul Scholes! A role model. For me – and I really mean this – he's the best central midfielder I've seen in the last 15, 20 years. I've spoken to Xabi Alonso about him. He's spectacular, he has it all: the last pass, goals, he's strong, he doesn't lose the ball, vision. If he'd been Spanish he might have been rated more highly. Players love him.

  • Comment number 93.

    44 - English great? ask Sven his opinion on that. left that good man high and dry days before a world cup? yeah, thats greatness.
    Or ask Sven what he was thinking playing one of the greatest CMs of this generation and the best English midfielder on the wings when he should've been in the middle of the park spraying pin point passes and scoring volleys. Sven's inability to manage a great player cost England and him.
    As for world class, I will take the word of people who played the game(Zidane, Xavi, Henry, Alonso) over the keyboard rage of a bitter ABU any day.

  • Comment number 94.


    so Paul Scholes isn't world class because he can't tackle, 'let his country down' and has only played for one club.


    presumably you'd at least agree that Lionel Messi is world class. So what's his tackling like then? And how many clubs has he played for? Also yes he's been good, but hasn't exactly set the world alight to quite the same extent on the international stage. Surely you could argue that a players' responsibility is just as much to his country as to his club, so hasn't he also 'let his country down' to some extent?

    Obviously the arguments I've raised above are absolutely ridiculous - Messi is clearly world class, as is (was) Paul Scholes.

    You are wrong.

  • Comment number 95.

    A sad, sad day for not just English football but football across the world.

    Unfortunately the tributes he earned within the game will probably only be mirrored by the majority outside the game, now his career's finished. But quite simply the best English player we've produced for a long, long time. So wonderfully elegant, yet with boundless ability to match.

    One player I'd never stop paying money to see.

    Take a bow Paul Scholes and good luck in your new career.

  • Comment number 96.

    They say "one man's loss is another man's gain".
    In Scholes's case it can be to the benefit of Manchester United.

    Imagine being a young hopeful, lucky enough to be in the Manchester United academy and having the opportunity to be coached by the ginger master. The group of players he'll take will be happy ones.

    I'd like to see Neville and Giggs (when he retires) remain in the United family, taking responsibilities in coaching the future of Manchester United.

    I'd also like to see legends of other clubs to remain in their clubs in coaching roles.
    It's good for football.

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    #47 - you are a plank aren't you.

    Scholes retired because Sven didn't have the bottle to drop Lampard and Gerrard and play Scholes alongside Owen Hargreaves in Centre Midfield (he wasted Scholes at LM and Hargreaves at RB). If he had done that we may have gone further in Japan than we did although Nicky Butt was having an outsnading tournament so a 5 man midfield supporting Michael Owen with Scholes breaking forward may have been the way forward. Scholes' mere presence has been heavily influential on the pitch.

  • Comment number 99.

    Most overrated player I have ever seen in 30 years. Never dominated a international game against top opposition or a Champions League game either & now suddenly he is up there with the greats? Good player no doubt & looked even better when Utd were on top but never took a game by the scruff of the neck.

    He was a good passer but never looked as good once Keane's powers started to wane, coincided with Scholes lack of effectiveness. Dont like Gerrard but he was a better player than him & all the posters who slate Cristiano Ronaldo but praise Scholes? Bizarre, Ronaldo was Utd best player in the last 25 years depsite only being there 6 years.

    I doubt Messi wanted his shirt, the guy doesnt even watch football let alone car about any other player, with the exception of Diego.

  • Comment number 100.

    @97 HAHA brilliant!


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