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QUOTES: About Paul Scholes

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.

My toughest opponent? Scholes of Manchester. He is the complete midfielder.
Zinedine Zidane

Rooney is one of the best players in the world and I love watching him play. But if you had to pick out only one, then for their history and for all that they have achieved it would have to be Paul Scholes or Ryan Giggs. They are two shining examples for any player.
Andres Iniesta

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.
Sir Alex Ferguson (Jan 2003)

I’m not the best, Paul Scholes is.
Edgar Davids, in his prime

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.
Inter owner Massimo Moratti’s adviser, Pino Pagliara (July 2000)

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.
Pep Guardiola

I tell anyone who asks me – Scholes is the best English player.
Laurent Blanc

An amazingly gifted player who remained an unaffected human being.
Roy Keane

I have no hesitation in putting a name to the embodiment of all that I think is best about football. It’s Paul Scholes. 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.
Sir Bobby Charlton

The player in the Premiership I admire most? Easy – Scholes.
Patrick Vieira

He is the one whose level I aspire to. He is the best player in the Premier League.
Cesc Fabregas

I can’t understand why Scholes has never won the player of the year award. He should have won it long ago. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t seek the limelight like some of the other ‘stars’.
Thierry Henry

Nobody else in the world can play the way Scholes does. The passes he produces all over the field and the way he changes the game is brilliant. Every manager would like him. But luckily he is here and playing with us. Paul practices that all the time. When he has finished training he always goes out and shoots.
Dimitar Berbatov

Why isn’t he playing for England? It is crazy. Only in England. Scholes is a great, great player. So experienced and still, for me, one of the best in the world in midfield. Manchester United are lucky to have him.
Jose Mourinho

Paul Scholes had the best football brain I’d ever seen in a kid. Let’s face it. Paul Scholes is in a class of its own.
Brian Kidd

Paul Scholes would have been one of my first choices for putting together a great team – that goes to show how highly I have always rated him. He would have been one of the first players I’d have bought, given the chance.
Marcello Lippi

Scholes is undoubtedly the best midfielder of his generation.
Zinedine Zidane

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. I am young and I hope that I will be able to surpass him – but it is not going to be easy.
Cesc Fabregas

Juan Sebasticn Veron while at Chelsea being asked in an interview who’s the best English player : “Paul Scholes.”

Paul Scholes is just fantastic. When you play alongside him, you realise what a special talent he is.
Michael Carrick

Very few players can do that, but Scholes is one of them – and I knew he was one of them. That’s why, without question, I think Paul Scholes is the best player in England. He’s got the best skills, the best brain. No one can match him.
Sir Alex Ferguson

England have lost their best player
George Best after Paul retired from international football

There isn’t a player of his mould anywhere in the world.
Glen Hoddle

For me, it’s Paul Scholes. He’ll do ridiculous things in training like say, “You see that tree over there?” – it’ll be 40 yards away – “I’m going to hit it”. And he’ll do it. Everyone at the club considers him the best.”
Rio Ferdinand

I wouldn’t swap Paul Scholes for anybody. He is quite simply the most complete footballer I have ever played with. He is the best.
Gary Neville

He’s always in the right position, always seems to be at the end of the box when the ball drops in. The complete midfielder – when he’s fit, he’s the best. Some go missing but he’s in the right place at the right time. He’s my favourite player of all-time, unbelievable. If you give him a chance it’s a goal, isn’t it?
Micah Richards

We won’t ever see another one like Paul Scholes. He is a legend and a real benchmark. He is not interested in the modern-day footballer’s life off the pitch, but he is a world-class player on it. He has probably never really got the true recognition he deserved outside of Manchester United because he never did the media. He didn’t do interviews and never put himself out for things like that. I cannot believe he has never been nominated for World, European or domestic individual honours because in his prime he was scoring 20 goals a season from midfield. It is astonishing he has never won a personal award, but given the choice of winning something and then having to get up and do the speech, I think he would rather not have won them!
Darren Fletcher

He’s the best one- or two-touch passer in the country. He sees the game unlike any other player.
Terry Venables

If you ask footballers to pick out the player they most admire, so many of them will pick Paul Scholes. He can tackle, and his passing and shooting is of the highest level. He’s the most consistent and naturally gifted player we’ve had for a long, long time.
Alan Shearer

Paul Scholes has been the best England midfield player for 30-odd years. You’d probably have to go back to Bobby Charlton to find someone who could do as much as Scholes. When the ball arrives at his feet he could tell you where every player on that pitch is at that moment. His awareness is superb.
Gordon Strachan

Paul, for me, is the best player in the England team. It worries teams. Speak to any other international team and they will single Paul out as England’s key player. For me, he doesn’t get the full credit that he deserves. He is a world-class player and deserves to be up there with the likes of Zidane and Figo.
Phil Neville

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.
Eidur Gudjohnsen

For years Paul Scholes has been one of the best players in the Premiership. He’s incredible. 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.
Thierry Henry

He has an awareness of what’s happening around him on the edge of the box which is better than most players. As a kid he always had a knack of arriving in the penalty area just at the right time, but he’s proving just as effective from outside the box because he’s using his experience in the right way. It doesn’t matter who I am thinking about bringing into my midfield, Paul Scholes will be included, as he would in any side in the world.
Sir Alex Ferguson

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Dazbomber says:

    Ive heard tales on the training pitch that if you were to turn your back on him he would bang the ball 45 yards on the back of your head

  2. oneloveoneunited says:

    Extraordinary man, never seeked the spotlight like so many modern wankers.

    Thank you Scholesy for all the memories, esp the goal against Barca.

    I’m going to go and cry now.

  3. slim says:


    You could be the first person i meet from ROM that day, i’d like to see what could stop me

  4. Swapnil says:

    i almost have tears in my eyes!!!!thank you scholelsy for all the moments of happiness and joy in our sad boring and insignificant lives over last 20 yrs………

  5. bigphil2003 says:

    England never really knew how to get the best out of Paul Scholes. Luckily for us, Sir Alex did. Cheerio Scholes of Manchester. True legend.

  6. willierednut says:

    Another departs and the class of 92 is almost gone. Just Giggsy remains now. Thanks Paul Scholes for all the goals and the 40 yard passes. Thanks for being the bane of Man City. Thanks for quitting the England squad, when that clown Sven couldn’t fit you in your normal position. Most of all, thanks for being a United player and a good human being. Take note Rooney. He scores goals……

  7. sandeep1878 says:

    fuck it.. My idol is gone.. this is what i was fearing whole season and it happened :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

    fuck it, i cant take it..i just cant :( :( :( :(

  8. Saad says:

    England’s midfield should have been made up of Scholes and Hargreaves, with Gerrard occasionally playing as an attacking midfielder in a 4-5-1 formation. Then England would have won things.

  9. nani4ever says:

    A real trow back, probably the classiest and most dedicated player i saw in an Utd Shirt, we all new this day was coming, but it feels surreal its as if he died, a truly sad day. Paul Scholes 1991-2011 (the second best utd midfielder ever)

  10. Eddiemunro says:


  11. nani4ever says:

    Saad @ 10:45
    Very accurate post , but you should have add Pirlo to that equation too

  12. sweet19forfa says:

    Zinedine Zidane – “If i have any regret in my life then its i didnt had a chance in my carrer to play alongside him”

  13. ahjs says:

    “Good enough to play for Brazil. I love to watch Scholes, to see him pass, the boy with the red hair and the red shirt.” Socrates

    “Paul Scholes retires .. One of the best players I’ve seen in my life! Training was a sight! It was a pleasure playing with him!” Gerard Pique

  14. jasonpark says:

    What a fantastic player scholes was he will be missed. United legend…he scores goal galore

  15. rubito says:

    Thank you to the Ginger Prince. It´s been a pleasure watching you and a privelege to have had you wear a United shirt.

    There is never better praise than from your peers. Roy Keane puts it beautifully, for me.
    How are we ever going to replace him?


  16. thelaughingman says:

    Thanks for all the memories SCHOLESY!!! You will be sourly missed…. however All the Best for your future endeavors in life!!!!
    I guess its a good time to see this again… :’(

  17. chicharito14 says:

    Even scholes is gone, one of our best lost forever. i already miss you scholes.

  18. Robbinhood Savage says:

    Gary Neville was having a piss one day, 45 yards away by a fence. Scholes whacked him right in the arse.” – Alex Ferguson

    Absolute genius!!

  19. Manchester Is My Heaven says:

    The best evidence of Paul Scholes’ greatness can be seen from the fact that almost every budding footballer wants to do what he does. I speak from experience, however lame this might sound coming from a commoner’s mouth. Be it spraying the ball long to the wings, splitting the opposition defense with an unstoppable pass or drilling the ball into the back of the net from distance. Ah, sweet dreams are made of these.

    We will never forget you Ginger Ninja. You were the reason I started watching football. Manchester United is a poorer club without you. The greatest midfielder that ever lived.

    18=number_of_the_LEGEND. Surely we will retire it now?

  20. nayadu91 says:

    Sad, sad day for football. Can’t really believe it…

  21. Red Keighley says:

    Nice piece about Scholesy on Phil Mcnulty’s blog calling him a true great!:
    Also have a look at this amusing piece about the reason for him retiring!
    True legend!!

  22. Redhot Concepts says:

    You will always be remembered! Stand tall stand proud my ginger prince!! fookin sad!!

  23. Toby says:

    Nice article, shame decided to copy the idea and make it their own. Albeit it with not so many good quotes

  24. Newton Heath Red says:

    Never before has reading quotes given me goosebumps and brought a tear to my eye. LEGEND

  25. Keyser Soze says:

    My heart sank today when I saw the article… Paul Scholes’ game first showed me the beauty in football, not Becks’ crosses, not Ronaldo’s feints… I feel as I’ve lost a dear dear friend, our number 18 has been my ONLY favourite player since first sitting in front of the TV to watch a match consciously and I’ve long lost count of gasps / standing ovations I’ve done by myself (I’m surrounded by Scouse/Rent lost souls) watching him. I’ll miss you dearly Ginger Ninja, football has lost its most shining example of the way the game should be played and respected

  26. bettathedevilsweknow says:

    i am gutted! you cant replace the irreplaceable. thank you Paul Scholes.

  27. GoatinaUnitedShirt says:

    Unbelievable it feels like Ive lost three european cup finals this week, first Wembley then the double wammy of NO MORE SCHOLES.

  28. hesselbom says:

    If other players are considered legends then Paul Scholes is legender!

  29. Adopted Scouser10 says:

    U made me a Red Devil,will greatly miss you

  30. zed says:


  31. pritch the red says:

    LEGEND he was man of the match on sat by a mile for us the other useless fuckers should take notice now he is coach

  32. enzo133 says:

    Part of me died today

  33. YesRed says:

    Each and every accolade aimed at Scholes is not enough praise.Because he didn’t seek the limelight he was over-looked for Player of the Year etc.But each of us here know his value.

    Scholes gave his soul to United and none of us could ask for more than that.

    Enjoy the coaching Paul,perhaps one day someone may come along and be worthy of the shirt 18 you wore with pride and distinction.Until that day a big big void is in my heart.

  34. missingOTnowiminoz says:

    Pure Legend, Ole got a banner we should make one for Scholes, maybe a goodbye 18 in reference to him and the 18 titles too….
    He made passing look easy, shooting look easy, mistiming tackles look easy :-) he made the game look easy!!
    At the end of the day no superlatives can describe the talent that is Paul Scholes!!

  35. zobs24 says:

    “Paul Scholes is an amazingly gifted footballer who has remained an unaffected human being.” – This can be said about no other footballer. Maybe this is His greatest achievement.

  36. rnicolas says:

    Probably the best thing that Scholesey ever did was quitting England. Showed everyone out there that United > England.
    Fucked up Sven, failing to play Scholes instead of Gerrard AND Lampard.
    They wouldn’t get a sniff when Scholes’ around.

  37. need to feel the love says:

    I ask my dad who is the best player you ever saw easy Big Duncan.When I get to to my dads age and people ask me its a no brainer its not just his skill as a player but his working class ethic no fuss this is a man who is so far removed from the glitz and glamour of todays footballing world its unreal.I count myself lucky to have seen scholes play and knew how good he was thanks for the memories

  38. Che's Red Reaction says:

    Here is my quote for Paul Scholes -

    “Who says nobody is perfect, PAUL SCHOLES is.”

    - Che.

  39. mdimec says:

    Dear Mr. Scholes, you deserve all the praise written by fellow footballers and fans, from my part I enjoyed every game that you played in and football in general will be missing your natural talent.
    GOOD LUCK in your new role, and thank you for remaining at Man Utd throughout your career.

  40. niggatee says:

    Paul Scholes – PURE and APPLIED!!!!!

  41. kaiyan says:

    Great post and comments glad he came back. Ma idol for real wake him up at 3.30 in morning and ask him to play that 50 yards pass on right wing to valencia and he will pass wit his eyes closed and most important thing isthough gifted player but remain away from limelight

  42. Gennaro says:

    After having watched Davide Petrucci this season for the reserves there’s no doubt in my mind this kid has what it takes to make it @ United. He’s got everything! He’s been tremendous this season after his injury hell last season. He oozes class this lad. Just like Scholes, he bosses things in midfield, can pick a pass..long or short, can score goals, find space etc and just makes the game look bloody easy at times. Who agrees with me that Petrucci has a big future in the game and hopefully that’ll be for United?

  43. Tom says:

    One of the best players ever.

    Can control a game like no other. But sven still decided to play him wide left for England. Maybe if he had been central he would not have retired and the 2 world cups since may have been more successful.


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