[VIDEO] Paul Scholes Retires – A True Legend
Immediately after the final whistle at Wembley, some cameras were fixed on Scholes and Giggs. I wondered if this was the end. Mostly for Scholes, as Ryan Legend Giggs had previously signed a 1-year contract with the Red Devils. Unfortunately, this was Scholes’ last chance of silverware. The magnificent midfielder decided to retire.
When I look at Scholes, I still see the 20-year old ginger-haired shy player. He played more than 650 games for Manchester United and won 24 pieces of silverware, including but not limited to 10 Premier League titles, 3 FA Cups, 2 Uefa Champions League trophies and more. He scored 150 goals in the process.
Beckham once revealed that Scholes was Zidane’s, Figo’s or R. Carlos’ most admired player. Zizou once praised Scholes naming him “the greatest player of his generation”.
You’ll never see Scholes clubbing, or partying ‘till morning like many other players. You’ll rarely see him giving an interview. Instead, he enjoys a quiet life, alongside his wife and childhood sweetheart Claire and their three kids Arron, Alicia and Aiden. He would tell you that “I’m happiest with my family and being in Manchester.” Sir Alex Ferguson confessed that it’s agony for Scholes to get him to talk at a press conference. United;s manager added: ‘In my time, he would sit in the top six or seven players. He could have played in any league in Europe. Maybe he’s had private approaches, people begging him to join them, but funnily enough we’ve never had one inquiry for Paul. You know why? Because they all know he’d never leave.’
Paul Scholes suffered from from Osgood-Schlatter disease that could have prematurely ended his career. In 2006, Scholes was diagnosed with blurred vision. There were rumors that it would end his career. Some say that his vision never fully recovered.
Yet, two years later, Scholes played his role in United’s Champions League success, scoring the winning goal at Old Trafford against Barcelona.
Scholes was capped 66 times for England, scoring 14 goals, including a stunning hat-trick at Wembley against Poland (March 1999), a double against Scotland (November 1999), a goal against Portugal during the Uefa Euro 2000 clash (which England lost 3-2). He also scored England’s second during the 1998 World Club clash with Tunisia.
I have many wonderful memories regarding Scholes, but if I were to pick one, I would definitely pick his jaw-breaking pass to Wayne Rooney, in United’s clash with Ac Milan.
Here’s the video:
Now, Scholes has announced his retirement and that he will remain in the coaching staff of Manchester United. On United’s official website, Scholes shared his thoughts with us:
“I am not a man of many words but I can honestly say that playing football is all I have ever wanted to do and to have had such a long and successful career at Manchester United has been a real honor. This was not a decision that I have taken lightly but I feel now is the right time for me to stop playing. To have been part of the team that helped the club reach that 19th title is a great privilege. I would like to thank the fans for their tremendous support throughout my career, I would also like to thank all the coaches and players that I have worked with over the years, but most of all I would like to thank Sir Alex for being such a great manager, from the day I joined the club his door has always been open […]”
After the final whistle at Wembley, Xavi, Messi and Pedro all asked for Scholes’ jersey, as a homage to the ginger-haired maestro. His jersey had gone into Iniesta’s hands. A truly wonderful recognition of his talent.
Scholes is 36 and he has decided to hang up his boots. Believe me, it’s a sad day for football. I still cannot believe that he is 36. Wow! Roy Keane’s words are pin-point accurate in describing the delightful United legend Paul Scholes:
“No celebrity bullshit, no self-promotion – an amazingly gifted player who remained an unaffected human being.”
Farewell, Scholesy! You are truly a fantastic player and I will always be your fan.
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