Paul Scholes regrets rejecting England
Man of the moment Paul Scholes has admitted he wished he had gone to the World Cup.
The Manchester United star has been in electrifying form so far this season, proving exactly why Fabio Capello wanted him in his England squad in South Africa.
Scholes rejected the option of a retirement U-turn, chiefly because Capello, who made contact through right-hand man Franco Baldini, only gave the 35-year-old a couple of hours to make up his mind.
England's lack of creativity was clearly obvious this summer and it is hard to believe Scholes would not have made a major difference.
Scholes is not the kind of character to dwell on such events but, as he looks back now, he admits he made a mistake by turning his back on the Three Lions, having initially retired after Euro 2004.
“I wish I had gone,” he said.
“I did feel as though I had made the wrong decision.
“I had only been given a couple hours, so it was a bit of a rush job, but the World Cup is the biggest tournament you can be involved in.
“There was a touch of regret but it doesn't matter now. It has gone.”
Scholes' admission will not make Capello feel any easier as the build-up begins to next month's Euro 2012 ties against Bulgaria and Switzerland.
England's poor showing at the World Cup in South Africa has turned the heat up on the previously highly-regarded Italian, who realises the failure to start the quest to reach the finals in Poland and Ukraine will bring even greater pressure.