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