July 11th 2000: Inter president confirms £31m offer for Paul Scholes
“Yes it is true. The story is correct. We are very much interested in signing Paul Scholes. Unfortunately for us, it appears Manchester United are not prepared to release Scholes at the moment. It is going to be very hard for us to get him.”

July 12th 2000: Agent Pino Pagliara tells Moratti to give up on Scholes
“I told Moratti Scholes is a “mission impossible” man. It’s more than money with him. He was born just a few blocks away from Old Trafford. It’ s about wearing United’ s colours. United say it will only happen if the board, player and manager all agree.”

August 18th 2000: Scholes wants to stay
“All the young lads love the club and want to stay here. When you come from the area it means so much more. We know what Manchester United means to so many people and we all want to be there as long as we can – and do the things Denis has done. I have been here for nine years, since I left school at 16. I am 25 now and getting old but I don’t think I will be getting a testimonial for a while. However, I would like to be here until I finish playing and I think it is the same for all the young lads who have come through. You do get frightened that one day they might snatch their hand off but we are certainly at least on a par with any other club. These days, there aren’t many players who stay at one club. They are all off making all the money, turning up one year here and then somewhere else. But we all want to stay together and be part of a successful United for years to come. Me, Becks, Nicky, Ryan, the Nevilles – we all feel the same. No one wants to be part of the side that goes on a bad run – it is inside us. The manager is always talking of hunger and we feel as hungry as ever. We all know what others think of United and we want them to hate us more. The more they do that, the more it means we are winning things. All the young lads want as many medals and trophies as we can – another Treble would be nice!”

January 11th 2001: Roberto Mancini reckons new England boss, Sven, has his eye on Scholes
“Of course, he knows all about Beckham, probably more than any other player in England. So the fact that Beckham will be fundamental to his plans for the future is a statement of the obvious. Yet the one player he is really looking forward to working with is Paul Scholes. We have seen him many times in the Champions League with Manchester United and Sven thinks he is an absolutely fantastic player. He has a superb touch, he scores spectacular goals and is a real competitor. Very hard but also quite disciplined.”

July 6th 2001: Scholes signs new 5-year-deal.
“A lot of people say English players have to go abroad to make themselves better players. But, as United are competing on a world stage anyway, I don’t think that matters. I wanted to stay and that was the most important thing. It doesn’t matter what other players are doing as long as you’re happy. We’ve shown in the past that we’ve got good team spirit and that’s because we’ve been together for so long. Hopefully, that will continue. There’s going to be competition. You have to expect that at a club like this. I think Veron is the best in the world in his position so it will be difficult to get into the team. Why should I leave when it is going so well? I’ve got no reason to leave.”

September 21st 2001: Scholes reckons Veron is better than Cantona
“I think Juan is better than Eric, to be honest. In terms of his all-round game, I think that he will go on and do more than Eric has done. I’m not sure if he’ll have more of an influence on the team, but he’s just a better player. Don’t get me wrong, Eric was amazing, but I just think that Juan’s got a bit more.”

November 8th 2001: Beckham dismisses speculation about Scholes’ future after he refuses to play against Arsenal
“To be honest, it’s not something I really want to go into. I don’t really know what has gone on. It’s between the manager and the players, and the whole team. Everyone knows Scholes’s quality, he always scores in big games, he works hard and gets stuck in for such a little lad. But you only get one chance [with Ferguson]. You cross him once and that is it.”

May 16th 2002: Scholes disappointed with lack of silverware
“At the start of the season, we thought that the manager was leaving and one or two players were slacking off. Maybe just five percent, but that was enough in the top games. There are only one or two players who can say they have done really well – Ruud van Nistelrooy and David Beckham. The rest of us, myself included, did not do well enough.”

January 8th 2003: Sir Alex Ferguson sings Scholes’ praises
“I am pleased with a lot of the players but Scholesey has really hit a rich vein of scoring form. Paul has had a fantastic season, brilliant. There is an understanding of the role now. He is maturing and coping very well. He has done superbly. I think he’s playing the role as well as anyone. Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid and Dennis Bergkamp at Arsenal operate in the same way. It’s an illustrious pair to be compared to. But Paul has taken his game to those heights.”

January 26th 2003: Fergie says Scholes a red for life
“Everywhere I go the coaches all tell me that Scholsey is the player they admire. But if they think they’ll get him they’re wasting their time! Paul is a Manc lad pure and simple. He loves the club and there’s no chance of him leaving here. If ever he decided to go there would be a stampede, but he won’t be going, he’s here for life. Paul is showing the maturity now and I think he’s in the best form he’s ever been in at the club. Apart from last season when he read too much about why his role wasn’t working, he’s always had good seasons here. Sometimes he’s a quiet lad and wants the quiet life, but you can’t always have that. Now his maturity is helping him in that.”

February 23rd 2003: Robert Pires doesn’t like Scholes much
“Van Nistelrooy’s violence was a disgrace. In the space of a quarter of an hour they really tried to intimidate us, with Van Nistelrooy’s tackles and Scholes’ tackle from behind on Patrick Vieira. If you’re talking about butchers, you should look at what Scholes did to Vieira. What is regrettable is that, in the end, the referee only gave them yellow cards, because for what happened in the space of a quarter of an hour those two should have been off. I’m pleased with the way we reacted. The truth was on the pitch where we beat them on their own ground and made them look ridiculous. That was the only way to reply.”

April 16th 2003: PFA shortlist announced
James Beattie, Thierry Henry, Paul Scholes, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Alan Shearer and Gianfranco Zola.

July 30th 2003: Scholes wants to stay
“I am happy where I am and in an ideal world I would like to stay with Manchester United for the rest of my career. The problem is ideals don’t always become reality. David leaving hasn’t made me feel more vulnerable, it’s part of the game. Not many players stay with one club throughout their career. It’s something you get used to and we will carry on as normal, just as we have when other players have gone before. This is the strongest midfield we have had since I’ve been here. There are more players for a start and that keeps everybody on their toes. You know you have to play well to stay in the team because there are two or three who could come in and take your place if you have a bad game.”

November 10th 2003 – Balon d’Or shortlist announced
Scholes and Van Nistelrooy named in top 50 players in Europe.

December 3rd 2003 – Scholes speaks out on England players’ strike threat after Rio Ferdinand’s ban
“The threat not to play in the game was real. We really thought about it. Rio was treated badly, and we still think that now. Whether we would have gone through with the boycott, I don’t really know. The thought of being chucked out of Euro 2004 was the main factor in pulling back. Of course, the whole thing was blown out of proportion. It was on Sky News every two minutes. It was nice seeing the press get in such a state about it.”

December 4th 2003 – Scholes talks about Beckham’s departure
“I wasn’t too bothered to be honest. It didn’t affect me or any of the other players. It was on the cards that Becks was going to go. With the way he was, I always knew that, one day, he would want to go. He wasn’t going to be at United forever. Obviously we miss his free-kicks. But we still have plenty of players who are great with dead balls, people like Ryan and Ronaldo. Whatever player is on the right for United is just as good as Becks. Becks is gone, we are just getting on with it, we really don’t care about what went on in the summer. All that matters is winning. I never want to leave Manchester United. The club might want to sell me, but I will never ask to leave.”

Would he join for Chelsea in the light of the Abramovich take over? “That doesn’t interest me at all. I would never join Chelsea: they are the enemy now.”

December 8th 2003: More praise from Fergie
“He’s scored over 100 goals from midfield for the club and I think that, when you’ve got a midfield player whose timing arriving in the penalty box is so good, he’s always a goal threat. Look at last season – he scored 20 goals. That’s outstanding from a midfield player. The other part is he has a clever football brain. He’s two-footed, has a quick football brain and that marks him out as one of the best players in the game.”

December 29th 2003: Fergie can’t believe Scholes doesn’t make the top 20 for the FIFA World Player of the Year awards
“He’s a gifted player and I was reading players from abroad saying they think he’s the best in Europe. Zidane’s said it, Vieira said it, Davids said it, yet he’s not in the first 20 at the awards. He nor Roy Keane were not in the first 20, it’s quite amazing. It’s probably right that he doesn’t have the profile of other players, he doesn’t get the same media attention as say Zidane or Ronaldo, but that’s football and we don’t worry about that. But I find it interesting.”

April 16th 2004: Fergie unhappy with FA ahead of Scholes hearing for violent conduct following an altercation with Middlesbrough’s Doriva
“You know The FA and Manchester United. There is a scenario for every club in the country and another one for us. We expect Paul to have a difficult hearing. Put it this way, I don’t think he will get the same hearing as other players get.”

May 16th 2004: Scholes thanks Fergie for first half substitution against Chelsea after he came close to being sent off and missing FA Cup final
“I’m grateful to the manager for substituting me. It was probably the right thing for him to do. I didn’t think so at the time but he was right. I was a bit surprised. I hadn’t played for a few weeks and to play for only half an hour was surprising. But I knew what another booking would have meant. The manager told me afterwards that the referee went to take a card out of his pocket after the tackle on Frank Lampard so I guess I was lucky. I’m relieved. I missed the European Cup final in 1999 through suspension and I’m glad it hasn’t happened again. I am just grateful I got through it thanks to the manager.”

August 3rd 2004: Sven upset with Scholes’ decision to retire from International football
“I am very sorry that Paul has decided to retire from international football. Paul and I have been speaking about this since Euro 2004 and, while he remained a key part of my plans for the England team, I fully respect his decision. Paul is a great player who has given so much to England over the past seven years. He has a very special talent and it has been a privilege working so closely with him.”

August 12th 2005: Fergie happy to see Scholes sign two year extension
“Paul joined us when he was 14 and has given us 16 great years of service. We’re delighted to give him a contract up to 34 years of age. We hope his next four years is as good as his last four years. He has been a fantastic servant and that loyalty should be repaid. That’s what we’re trying to do. He looks after himself, is a good family man and he’s never had any serious injuries. He had the odd knee injury, clean-out jobs, in the past but he’s a strong, wee lad and he can overcome all these things.”

October 7th 2005: Scholes reiterates desire to stay
“I really can’t imagine playing anywhere else and I don’t want to either. It’s never been something that’s interested me at all so it’s never become an issue really. Obviously in football you never know and there may come a time when the manager doesn’t want you any more and you have to go. But that would be the only reason that I would leave.”

April 20th 2006: Scholes talks about vision problems, having been ruled out for the season back in January
“It has not completely gone yet. It has been four months now, so I am not sure it will be completely normal, but I should be okay to start playing again. I don’t really know why it happened. Apparently, it is something quite rare in people my age. Unfortunately, it has happened to me and I just have to get on with it. My aim now is for next season. As long as I am ready for then, I will be happy. I was a bit worried, but it has been more frustrating than anything else because, while, as a footballer, you expect to pull muscles, this was something completely different. I never really thought I had played my last game or anything like that. I was just focused on getting it right and the sooner I could get back, the better. I have three years left on my contract and I want to stay at United for that length of time.”

October 1st 2006: New England manager Steve McClaren admits he’s tried to change Scholes’ mind on retirement
“I asked Paul if he would like to return, it was one of the first things I did before I named my full squad. I asked him in the summer if he would reconsider and come back into the fold. He declined and then declined again when I asked him last week. He just wants to concentrate on playing for Manchester United and his family, which were the reasons for his decision when he retired from international football last time. I respected those decisions when he retired from international football and I don’t expect to be asking him again. But the door is always open and I would never close it on Paul Scholes.”

October 21st 2006: Sir Bobby Charlton sings Scholes’ praises
“Paul Scholes is without any shadow of a doubt one of the finest midfield players Manchester United has ever produced. I can’t believe he is already about to make his 500th appearance. To me he is still the young lad I saw 12 years ago – he is naturally gifted with great vision. We were all worried when he had an eye problem last season but it was wonderful to have him back after a long lay-off. His return to the team was like signing a new player. I can’t speak highly enough of Paul Scholes.”

December 14th 2006: Fergie names Scholes in the best players he’s managed
“In my time I’ve been blessed with several world class players. Peter Schmeichel was certainly one, and Ryan Giggs for me, definitely. Eric Cantona could have been even better, but for the parts of him you had to control. Wayne Rooney, that’s four. Then there’s Roy Keane, that’s five. And I think Cristiano Ronaldo is going to be. He’s playing in the hardest position, out wide, and never refuses to take the ball and attack players. And there’s an argument for Paul Scholes, the cleverest midfield player we’ve ever had. To work with such people has been an absolute pleasure. It’s fulfilled every aspiration.”

January 8th 2007: Fergie wants Scholes to win PFA Player of the Year
“I think everyone at the club and the supporters would be delighted if Paul got an honour. He’s scored five goals for me and that is up with the best of them in the country in that role. His football brain, and the football he produces at times, is marvellous. It would be great for him to get an award like that.”

January 19th 2007: Fabregas is a Scholes fan
“Paul Scholes has had a fantastic season. He is a very complete, spectacular footballer. He always fights for the ball and tries to lose his marker to help his team-mates – either to defend or to have a shot on goal. For any football player in the Premiership, Scholes is a player you want to emulate. I would happily end my career with the medals that Scholes has. He has six league titles, four FA Cups, one European Cup and one Inter-Continental Cup to his name. I am young and I hope that I will be able to surpass him – but it is not going to be easy.”

January 20th 2007: Henry is a Scholes fan too
“For years Paul Scholes has been one of the best players in the Premiership. He’s incredible. He’s come back into the team after his eye injury and he’s playing so well, like he’s never been away. He has always been under-rated throughout his career. He’s a team player, a one and two-touch footballer who makes good decisions on the pitch and makes his team play. I don’t understand why he has never won the player of the year. A guy like that should have won it long ago.”

April 16th 2007: PFA Player of the Year nominations
Didier Drogba, Cesc Fabregas, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Cristiano Ronaldo and Steven Gerrard.

April 18th 2007: Henry votes for Scholes in PFA Player of the Year
“Good luck to Cesc, but obviously I am not allowed to vote for a team-mate, my vote went to Paul Scholes. You saw how much Manchester United missed him last season, and you have seen what a difference he has made when he has come back this year.”

March 2nd 2008: Fergie promises to play Scholes if we make another European Cup final
“Hopefully we can get to the final again and this time Paul will get his opportunity. I’m not a sentimentalist by any means. My one aim has always been to manage the club in the right way. But if we got to the Champions League final again then I’m telling you that I would have to be sentimental when it came to choosing my team for that one. I’d have to pick Paul to play because he deserves it. Paul doesn’t say much about missing out in 1999, but it must have hurt him. He will still feel it because players like that always do. Players with his calibre and with his record of being a winner will have felt bad about missing out. It would have hurt Paul just as much as it hurt Roy Keane. To miss the biggest club game in the world must have an impact. Paul won’t talk about things like that because he is not the kind of man to let disappointment destroy him. You only have to see what he has won in the game to realise that.”

April 20th 2008: Eidur Gudjohnsen singles out Scholes ahead of European Cup semi-final against Barcelona
“I’m more an admirer of Paul Scholes than I am of Ronaldo. Ronaldo is a fantastic player, but he has 10 other great players around him every week. Scholes is one of the most complete footballers I’ve ever seen. His one-touch play is phenomenal. Whenever I have played against him, I never felt I could get close to him. Of course players like Ronaldo and Messi can change a game with one bit of skill, but there’s a lot of hysteria about them and the tie will be all about which of us plays better as a team. That is why Scholes and Ryan Giggs are both very influential. When I was in England, I watched them closely and I saw that what they both do for United is phenomenal.”

May 21st 2008: Scholes reflects on 1999 European Cup final
“It was a good night, really. The lads went out and won the game. I would have liked to have been involved, but it wasn’t to be. You don’t really feel a part of it when you have not played a part in the biggest game in the run, which is the final. It doesn’t matter what anyone says, you know yourself that you have not played in the game that has won the trophy and the medals – if I had’ve played we might not have won, you never know. On the night I was really pleased that the lads played as they did and managed to win the game for us. But I wasn’t a part of that and you have just got to live with it.”

October 3rd 2008: Fergie pleased that Scholes signs contract extension
“Paul is proof that if you look after yourself you can carry on playing and be rewarded at a club of this size. He is 34 now and he has been here since he was 14. That tells you the desire and the ability he has to stay at the top.”

May 21st 2009: Scholes always had faith in United
“I actually didn’t realise it was four years between winning the league. But I certainly did not think it was over during that fallow period. Manchester United is a major club. OK, we were probably not as close as we would have liked to have been but I never thought we would not win it again and the manager did not let us think that way either. At a club like this, you always think you will get it right one year. We managed to do that by beating Chelsea in 2007 and we have gone on to win it again and again.”

March 13th 2010: Rooney sings Scholes’ praises
“It’s hard to sum up Scholesy because he’s changed his game since he was younger. He’s like a quarterback now, getting it in the middle and spraying it around the field. He’s unbelievable – he’s one of the greatest of all time.”

August 23rd 2010: Scholes again reiterates desire to stay at United
“I have stayed here because it’s the best club. I’m from Manchester, so why would I want to move? As long as the manager wants me I have wanted to stay. How can I be bored of winning trophies? Bored of winning games every week, or most weeks? Who can get bored of that?”

September 18th 2010: Scholes on Liverpool
“You can’t get away from the fact that both teams don’t really like each other. We are both desperate to win and I don’t think that will ever change. But you fear losing at this club, and against Liverpool in particular, so hopefully we can get the right result.”

November 8th 2010: Scholes on City
“We want to win trophies, but we can’t win everything and while we don’t get the option of choosing who wins the other, there are some teams you would rather do it and others you would prefer not to. We are all desperate to stay above City. That goes for everyone. Even a 21-year-old newcomer to the club will feel the same way. We wouldn’t like City to win anything in much the same way as they wouldn’t want us to win anything else. Every derby game I have been involved with has always been massive.”

May 21st 2011: Guardiola is a Scholes fan
“I admire them. Manchester United are a fantastic rival. Out of everyone at Manchester United, I would pick out Scholes – he is the best midfielder of his generation. I would have loved to have played alongside him. Scholes and Giggs are still great players; they are a point of reference in their team. United are a great team with great players – and they like to play good football.”

May 31st 2011: Scholes retires
“I am not a man of many words, but I can honestly say that playing football is all I have ever wanted to do and to have had such a long and successful career at Manchester United has been a real honour. This was not a decision that I have taken lightly but I feel now is the right time for me to stop playing. To have been part of the team that helped the Club reach that 19th title is a great privilege.”

January 8th 2012: Fergie happy with Scholes’ decision to come out of retirement
“The last few weeks, Paul has been training very hard with the reserves and doing a lot of work in the gym. He came to see me and said ‘I regret retiring’. There are no negatives for me. The players have been delighted. I am delighted. The fans are delighted. The last few weeks he has been stepping up his training and been taking part in our training sessions during the week. It is a terrific addition to our squad at a very important part of our season.”

January 27th 2012: Scholes explains decision to return
“At the end of last season, I thought it was the right time to finish. But after coming in here for the last three or four months, still seeing people and doing a bit of training with the reserves, I was missing it more than I thought. I went to see the manager and said that I wanted to come back playing. I didn’t know what he would say. I didn’t know what his reaction would be. Thankfully, it was a positive one.”




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