Why this Manchester United man was right to hang up his boots when he did


A true great and model professional of the English game, after 676 appearances and ten Premier League titles with Manchester United and 66 caps for England, Paul Scholes finally hangs up his boots on a seventeen year playing career. A much loved and respected footballer by players and fans alike, Scholes has decided to call it quits but is to stay in football with a coaching role at Old Trafford.

What many suspected in the red part of Manchester throughout the season has finally become reality when Scholes announced his retirement on 31st May. After helping to secure a record nineteenth title for the club, where he has spent his entire career, and at the age of 36, the time is probably right for the midfielder to take this decision.

With the announcement coming just one day after the United team paraded their record Premier League Trophy through the streets of Manchester, and before Ferguson begins his squad reshuffling task this summer, the timing of Scholes’ decision couldn’t have been better.

David Gill, the United Chief Executive, has recently described the coming summer months as, “busier than [the] usual summer.” So with Scholes’ announcement made, Ferguson can set about replacing the creative midfielder. Not the easiest of tasks I’m sure. Scholes too, although still possessing the technique and overall quality that defined him as such a great player for Manchester United over the years, and kept him in the first team for much of that time despite his age, seems to have reluctantly allowed time to catch up with him this season. He started less games and scored only once during this years campaign so unsurprisingly concluded that now was the time to quit, being the realist that Paul Scholes is.

It was a real shame that he, and Van Der Sar, couldn’t have gone out with more of a bang – the two such celebrated players losing their final game at Wembley on Saturday night. However it was no surprise that Andres Iniesta a hugely talented footballer in his own right, but who shares many of the qualities associated with Scholes, on the final whistle hurried over to the Mancunian and asked to exchange shirts.

Like Iniesta, many other world class players, of past and present, have shown public admiration for Scholes. Sir Bobby Charlton described him as “in so many ways…[his] favourite [player],” with Jack Wilshire stating that Scholes was “a great role model for any young, English midfielder.” Zinedine Zidane attributed the title of “the complete midfielder” to Scholes, while Wayne Rooney, after hearing of his decision to retire on the news called him “the best [he’d] played with and against.”

The fact that Rooney, Scholes’ teammate, only heard on the morning news that the old midfield maestro had decided on his future tells it all about the shy but professional nature of the man. He has always preferred to keep his private life outside of football private. He has never been one for doing interviews or getting snapped out partying and his wife doesn’t host a daytime television show or have a multi million pound book deal.

Quietly bowing out of a career where he has achieved so much, and the nature in which he has always conducted himself highlights his model professionalism, and his appropriateness for a job in coaching the next generations. An ambassador for the English game and a true great he’ll be surely missed next season nevertheless his decision, however difficult, is probably the right one. are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “[email protected]” to learn more.

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1 comment
  • hardy says:

    i thought he may of done another season,he`s still capable of playing 20 games a season to a high standard.
    well done on a great career Ginger Ninja

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