As part of the United side that won everything under Sir Alex Ferguson, Paul Scholes became one of the biggest stars in World Football and is undoubtable a Premier League legend.
Scholes was not blessed with blistering pace but he was a player of outstanding technical ability. He started his career as a striker but his with his vision, ability to find space and wide range of passing he moved further and further back the pitch as his career progressed.
There wasn’t much that he couldn’t do with a football and his ability to strike the ball on the volley was up there with t he likes of Zinedine Zidane. Over the course of his time at Manchester United he won 11 Premier League titles, 3 FA Cups, 2 League Cups and 2 Champions League titles.
Not one to keep his mouth shut as a pundit he was a quiet person as a player preferring to let his feet do the talking but plenty of players had a lot to say about United’s brilliant midfielder. So as he celebrates his 43rd Birthday today, we thought we would take this opportunity to look back on some of the things that the biggest names in world football, (and Ian Holloway), had to say about Scholsey.
1. “There is no doubt for me that Paul Scholes is still in a class of his own. He’s almost untouchable in what he does. I never tire of watching him play. You rarely come across the complete footballer, but Scholes is as close to it as you can get. One of my regrets is that the opportunity to play alongside him never presented itself during my career.”
– Zinedine Zidane
2. “I’m star-struck when I see Paul Scholes because you never see him. On the pitch you can’t catch him. Off the pitch he disappears.”
– Luis Figo
3. “In the last 15 to 20 years the best central midfielder that I have seen — the most complete — is Scholes. I have spoken with Xabi Alonso about this many times. Scholes is a spectacular player who has everything. He can play the final pass, he can score, he is strong, he never gets knocked off the ball and he doesn’t give possession away. If he had been Spanish then maybe he would have been valued more.”
– Xavi Hernandez
4. “At Arsenal me and Patrick (Vieira) didn’t want to face Scholes. We would avoid him.”
– Emmanuel Petit
5. “When he passes the ball it stays passed. The ball goes exactly where he wants it to. I have always loved him for that. I played against him once or twice and he is an absolute genius. He is a role model for anyone who wants to play football. He is a joy to watch. In fact, I wish he was 21, then I could see his career all over again.”
– Ian Holloway
6. “I have no hesitation in putting a name to the embodiment of all that I think is best about football. It’s Paul Scholes. Many great players have worn the shirt of Manchester United. Players I worshipped, then lost with my youth in Munich. Players like Denis Law and George Best who I enjoyed so much as team-mates and now, finally, players I have watched closely in the Alex Ferguson era. And in so many ways Scholes is my favourite. I love his nous and conviction that he will find a way to win, to make the killer pass or produce the decisive volley. When a game reaches a vital phase, these qualities seem to come out of his every pore. He’s always on the ball, always turning on goal. He’s always looking to bring other people into the action and if he loses possession you think he must be ill.”
– Sir Bobby Charlton
7. “He’s always one of those people others talk about. Even playing at Real Madrid, the players always say to me ‘what’s he like’? They respect him as a footballer and see him as the ultimate.”
– David Beckham
8. “Without any doubt the best player in the Premiership has to be Scholes. He knows how to do everything, and he is one who directs the way his team plays. On top of that, he has indestructible mental strength and he is a genuine competitor.”
– Thierry Henry
9. “I want to pass like him. Who taught him how to do that?”
10. “He’s the phenomenon.”
– Ronaldo (the real one)
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