Scholes calls time on career
Paul Scholes has confirmed his retirement for a second time.
The former England midfielder initially quit in 2011 but was persuaded to return for Manchester United in January last year. However, the 38-year-old, who is expected to make his first appearance since January in Sunday's Barclays Premier League encounter with Swansea, feels it is time to bow out.
"Yes I am finally hanging up my boots for good," he said. "Playing football is all I have ever wanted to do and to have had such a long and successful career at Manchester United, under the greatest manager of all time, has been an honour."
Given how much affection the 38-year-old is held in by Sir Alex Ferguson, it is fitting both men are bowing out at the same time.
Regarded by team-mates and opponents alike as one of the finest players of his generation, Scholes will be making his 498th Premier League appearance for United on Sunday, meaning he will fall just short of the magical 500.
In total, he has made 716 appearances for the Red Devils and scored the last of his 155 goals against FA Cup winners Wigan last September. Many will argue his decision to turn his back on England at the criminally early age of 29 robbed the Three Lions of the most talented player at their disposal.
Fabio Capello thought so, hence his decision to try to coax Scholes out of retirement ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
Scholes eventually opted against, although he latter admitted he regretted the decision.
"Paul is a truly unbelievable player," said Ferguson.
"He has always been fully committed to this club and it has been a real privilege to work with him for so many years. Paul will play at Old Trafford on Sunday against Swansea and will collect an unbelievable but well-deserved 11th Premier League medal."