Paul Scholes is ready to end his playing career at the end of the new season and go into coaching. Scholes, who admitted prior to the World Cup that he would have come out of international retirement to play for England if Fabio Capello had asked him earlier, says he has one more top flight season left in him. “I am coming to the end of my playing career and I maybe have one year left” the 35 year-old said. “I have started doing my coaching badges back in England and hopefully one day I will be able to coach kids or coach some kind of team somewhere.”
Scholes narrowly missed out on a 10th Premier League champion’s medal when Chelsea pipped United to the title last season. But Ferguson believes Scholes still has the quality for another season at the top and the player is under no illusions about the impact the successful Scot has had on his long career. “He has been great” added Scholes “it goes without saying what a top manager he has been. The amount of players he has brought through the youth team is great and it gives hope to all the kids in the youth team that if they are good enough he will definitely use them. It has just been fantastic working with him and I think there is a good few years left in him yet.”
Here’s a tribute to Scholesy by Mirror Football’s Steve Anglesey
The dream debut – One of nine youngsters in Sir Alex Ferguson’s starting line up, little Scholesy opened his Manchester United career in the perfect fashion by scoring twice away to Port Vale in a 2-1 League Cup win on September 21, 1994. The 19 year old said “It was a dream come true. To play for the first team at all was brilliant and then to score two goals was just amazing.”
The dream league debut – Three days later, Scholes was playing with the big boys for his league debut at Portman Road. United lost but the rosy cheeked kid scored twice and a star was born.
The double Italian job – Scholes became the first ever player to score against both Inter and AC Milan at the San Siro in the Champions League earlier this year when he netted in United’s 3-2 win over
Beckham and co. More famously, he scored a crucial 88th minute equaliser against Inter in the 1999 quarter final that set the Reds on the way to their historic treble.
The ultimate sacrifice – After beating Inter, United faced Juventus in the 1999 semi final. Along with the phenomenal Roy Keane, Scholes was a standout in the second leg as United rallied from two goals down early on. But like Keano, he picked up a yellow card and a ban which ruled him out of one of the greatest nights in United’s history.
Scholes to Newcastle – 1999 was a vintage year for Scholes as he also got on the scoresheet in the 2-0 FA Cup final win over Newcastle with the rasping strike. Said the Ginger Genius: “I don’t think they really got a kick. We’d just won the league the week before and it was a huge game. It was the second part of the Treble and we managed to do it quite comfortably.”
The Greek God – United laboured to get past a determined Panathinaikos side in the 2000/01 Champions League. With the score 1-1 on 80 minutes, Scholes struck twice to give United the win in a great performance.
Hat trick hero – Scholes piled more woe on Newcastle in April 2003, scoring a marvellous hat trick against the Magpies. The goals couldn’t have been much better: A trademark first time volley, a piledriver into the top corner and a cool side foot.
Piling on the Blues – The Salford born midfielder must have loved scoring four goals against bitter rivals Manchester City in the 2003/04 season. He grabbed a brace past former England colleague David
Seaman in December to hand his side Mancunian bragging rights and disappoint his old international boss Kevin Keegan.
You’re Gunner lose some time – Arsenal achieved a brilliant unbeaten league season in 2003/04, but Scholes managed to deny them the double in the FA Cup semi final at Villa Park. His thumping effort
handed United a vital 1-0 victory. “I just managed to whack it in as hard as I could” he said.
Second time lucky – Scholes may have missed the Champions League final in 1999, but his desire to play in at least one during his career was obvious in the 2008 semi. United played out a 0-0 draw against
Barcelona at the Nou Camp, but it was a lone goal from Scholes after 14 minutes of the return leg at Old Trafford which sent United to the final in Moscow. And what a goal it was.
Football legend Zinedine Zidane once said “My toughest opponent? Scholes. He is the complete midfielder, undoubtedly the best of his generation”. And if the Manchester United legend is ever asked
what advise he would give to today’s football millionaires, you can rest assured that he would give them these words of wisdom “Get up, go to work, play the game, get showered, go home”
What is your fondest memory of Scholes?