20 quotes to prove how good Manchester United legend Paul Scholes was

Paul Scholes is one of football’s greatest midfielders, and now, after his retirement, that is recognized more than ever.

Playing 777 games, scoring 166 goals and winning 27 trophies with Manchester United, few midfielders can boast a career as good as Paul Scholes. When you consider that what made him such a special footballer was the impact he had on his team as a whole rather than just his stats and number of trophies, the list of those sitting at his table becomes even smaller.

The average fan won’t recognize that impact all that often, but the pros do, and of the game’s greats, it seems Scholes is the most revered. In a video produced by the MEN, their words on Scholes are highlighted.

wayne rooney

“The things he could do with the ball, he obviously wasn’t the fastest but he was so quick you couldn’t get near him.”

“I remember knowing that at the end of my career I would go back to midfield, so I was almost studying him and watching him in training and in games. It was awesome for me, first hand, to watch it and learn.

Rio Ferdinand

“He’ll do silly things in practice like say, ‘See that tree over there?’ – It will be 40 yards – “I will hit him” And he will, everyone at the club considers him the best.

Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes have won many trophies together at Manchester United. (Alamy)

Xavi Hernandez

“He was a role model. For me – and I really think so – he’s the best central midfielder I’ve seen in the last 15, 20 years. I spoke to Xabi Alonso about him.

“He is spectacular, he has everything: the last pass, the goals, he is strong, he does not lose the ball, the vision. If he had been Spanish, he might have been rated higher. Players love it. »

Pep Guardiola

“Of everyone at Manchester United I would choose Scholes – he is the best midfielder of his generation. I would have loved to play alongside him.”

Gary Neville

“Brian Kidd adored him. Sir Alex Ferguson said, ‘If he doesn’t become a footballer, we can all wrap him up’… and that was when he was eighteen.”

“I’m coming to the end of my career and I’m saying he’s the best player I’ve ever played with.”

Luis Figo

“I’m amazed when I see Paul Scholes because you never see him. In the field, you can’t catch him. Outside the field, he disappears.

Luis Figo and Paul Scholes face off while on international duty in February 2004. (Alamy)
Luis Figo and Paul Scholes face off while on international duty in February 2004. (Alamy)

Andrea Pirlo

“The very great English midfielder of the generation. He didn’t just play the game, he thought the game. You could see every pass, every decision was based on his intelligence and understanding.

David Beckham

“He is still one of those people that other people talk about. Even playing at Real Madrid, players always tell me ‘how is he?’ They respect him as a footballer and see him as the ultimate.

Alain Hansen

“He is one of the three to five best players to ever play in the Premier League – his passing, movement and technique are examples for everyone, not just young players.”

Pierre Schmeichel

“People say he’s a great player, but you have to define what a great player is. For me, he’s a player who has a low level that makes his worst performance go unnoticed. Scholes , of all the players I have played with, has the lowest level, his reading of the game is unmatched.

Mr Bobby Charlton

“I don’t hesitate to put a name to the embodiment of all that I think is the best in football. It’s Paul Scholes. Many great players have worn the Manchester United shirt. Players I loved , then that I lost with my youth in Munich.”

Paul Scholes and former Manchester United manager Sir Bobby Charlton.  (Alamy)
Paul Scholes and former Manchester United manager Sir Bobby Charlton. (Alamy)

“Players like Denis Law and George Best who I loved so much as teammates and now, finally, players who I followed closely in the days of Alex Ferguson. And in many ways, Scholes is my prefer.

“I love his sense of the game and his belief that he’ll find a way to win, get the killer through or produce the killer volley. When a game reaches a vital phase, those qualities seem to come out of every pore. He is always on the ball, always facing the goal.

“He’s always looking to bring other people into the action and if he loses possession you think he must be sick.”

Lionel Messi

“At La Masia, his name was mentioned a lot. He’s a teacher.”

Cristiano Ronaldo

“Scholes is the best I’ve played with and he helped me a lot when I was young. He’s amazing.”

Thierry Henry

“United have always had many amazing players, but every time we played them we were always, always, always afraid of what Paul Scholes could do. Ask anyone from that former Arsenal side, they’ll tell you the same thing.

“If you let him play he can kill you, and for me he was so underrated. His way of playing: one touch, coming into the box late, his way of kicking the ball, his vision, his passing . Unbelievable.”

Alain Shearer

“For me, Paul Scholes has been the best midfielder in the Premier League. A mile away. He’s got the lot. He scores and creates goals, he can pass the ball, he can direct it and he tops it all off with a competitive sequence.


“I want to pass like him. Who taught him to do this?

Ronaldinho came close to joining Manchester United before his move to Barcelona.  (Alamy)
Ronaldinho came close to joining Manchester United before his move to Barcelona. (Alamy)

Ronaldo Nazario

“He is the phenomenon.”

Zinedine Zidane

“He is almost untouchable in what he does. I never tire of watching him play. You rarely come across the complete footballer, but Scholes comes as close as you can get.

“One of my regrets is that the opportunity to play alongside him never presented itself in my career.”

“How does it feel to be the best player in the world?” asked an interviewer.

The answer? “I don’t know, ask Paul Scholes.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

“He was the absolute perfect player and no matter how many great players we’ve had in the past at Manchester United, Paul sits in the great pantheon of those players, there’s no doubt about that.”

Gareth Southgate

“Paul Scholes deserves all the accolades he will receive when he retires, he is the most gifted English player of his generation and humbled by that.”

All of these quotes show how special the footballer Scholes truly was.

Some of the sport’s greatest minds, such as Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo, come together to appreciate how technically, mentally and tactically he was ahead of his competition, with a couple even complimenting him physically despite not being the most imposing footballer.

It’s amazing to see him get the recognition he deserves on such a grand scale, with the greatest of the greats all coming together to celebrate a player who has obviously been cut from the same cloth as them.

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