Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughPaul Scholes' final farewell - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Paul Scholes' final farewell - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Paul Scholes’ final farewell

Whilst Sir Alex Ferguson has taken all of the headlines regarding his impending retirement as manager of Manchester United, another man is also about to call time upon his Old Trafford career. Quiet, media shy and always keen to avoid the spotlight; Paul Scholes is the third highest appearance holder at the club and has blossomed into one of the finest midfielders in the world under the tutelage of his boss. Now he is set to bow out in just the way he would want; without a lot of fuss made over him and with a Premier League medal to add to his impressive collection.


If Ryan Giggs had not been playing at the same club as him then perhaps more people would talk about Paul Scholes’ incredible statistics over the last 20 years. He has scored in 19 consecutive Premier League seasons and has a total of 107 league goals to his name. The trophy haul is not too bad either, with 11 league titles, three FA Cups, two Champions League titles and two League Cup victories giving an indication of just how successful the ‘ginger wonder’ has been. Then again, he is probably grateful that Giggs is there to take the spotlight off his achievements, although he has certainly not gone unnoticed by his fellow professionals. Zinedine Zidane famously said that he regretted never having the opportunity to play alongside the ‘complete footballer’, whilst Barcelona midfield magician Xavi declared that he was the finest player in his position of the last twenty years. Sometimes the media can generate a lot of hype about a player’s ability and fans follow in their footsteps by all too eagerly declaring that a player is a ‘legend’. On the other hand, comments from top players around Europe, that have won World Cup medals, European Championships and other hugely significant titles, tells you all you need to know about just how highly rated Scholes is. 

Calm in possession, he was always able to spot a pass that the rest of his teammates couldn’t, as well as having the knack of popping up around the edge of the box at just the right moment to smash in a shot. He openly admitted that his tackling was the one weak area of his game and his disciplinary record is certainly not the greatest; 97 yellow cards and 4 red cards in the Premiership are clearly not the result of well-timed interceptions.

Despite this flaw he was considered a regular starter under Ferguson and also a key element of the England team until 2004. However, Sven Goran Eriksson began to play him on the left side of midfield more regularly as he attempted to create space for the Gerrard – Lampard partnership in the middle of the pitch. Scholes was unhappy at being treated like a third choice midfielder at international level and so decided to retire from the England setup, claiming that his club career and family life were more important. With hindsight it is clear to see that the partnership between the Liverpool and Chelsea stars was not particularly fruitful and we will never know whether Scholes could have added that extra bit of quality and tranquillity on the ball. Ultimately he has been a loyal servant to Manchester United and although featuring on a limited basis this season, he has still been an important role model for the younger players at the club. He will most likely become involved in a coaching capacity with the youth teams at the club, but so far has given no indication that he is interested in management. With his character and fiercely private nature it seems highly unlikely that he will follow in Sir Alex’s footsteps…

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