Thursday 18 July 2019

'I'd have gone somewhere else' - Paul Scholes makes surprise admission about final days at Man United

Paul Scholes.
Paul Scholes.
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Paul Scholes has revealed he would have been prepared to play for another club if Alex Ferguson had rejected his attempts to come out of retirement with Manchester United in early 2012.

Scholes called time on his highly decorated United career in the summer of 2011, but decided he wanted to play again at the age of 37 and told beIN Sport about his fear of confronting Ferguson with his plan to play again.

"I finished at the wrong time and the manager said that to me, that I had another year in me at least and I just didn't feel that way at the time," reflected Scholes.

"We got to Christmas time and I was coaching the youth team and the first team was struggling. I think we had Fabio (Da Silva) and Phil Jones playing in central midfield in a game against Blackburn.

"I went and knocked on Mike Phealan's door, the assistant (manager), and I said I fancy coming back to play. I wanted to see where he thought the manager would go with it and if he said no, I have gone somewhere else to play because I needed to play.

"He said it was a great idea and the next day I was nervous knocking on the manager's door and I was there at half seven in the morning because I wanted to get it out of the way. He shook my hand straight away and said we'll get it sorted."

Scholes went on to suggest he should not have continued into the following season, as he recalled an encounter with Gareth Bale at Old Trafford in a game Tottenham won 3-2 as a signal that his time was up.

"The mistake I did make is I played for the rest of that season and I shouldn't have gone on then," he confirmed. "I remember a game against Tottenham third of fourth game of the next season and Gareth Bale running at me. That's game over! I was even too slow to kick him, that's the problem."

Scholes also gave an insight into his dream career that included eleven Premier League titles and two Champions League wins, as he admitted he has exceeded all of his expectations.

"Just to be a footballer was a dream. Even if I had played only one game for Man United, I would have been happy," he added.

"To play in a special youth team that bread winners, so many unbelievable footballers and to work for a manager that just wanted to win, it was incredible. It's impossible for that to happen.

"I played with some of the best players in the world who didn't get the credit they should have done and I look back sometimes and watch games from 10 15 years ago at how good United were and it was just a pleasure.

"When you are inside your career you don't enjoy it. You are more worried because you have to win. You don't realise how lucky you were to play with so many great players."

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