Paul Scholes at 38: In the words of the greats

Scholes V Fulham

The legendary Manchester United midfielder has turned 38 this Friday and it gave us an excuse to reminisce on some of his best moments and look at what his opponents have had to say about him over the last decade and more.

Last year we thought we had seen the last of him and the tributes poured in for Manchester United legend Paul Scholes. Then to only add to his enigma he returned out of the blue in January and has come back as good as ever.

This Friday is Scholesy’s 38th birthday and what better excuse to purr over the brilliant ginger talisman than that. It is a career that has spanned almost 20 years and his achievements are almost impossible to put into words however others have tried so here is a collection of the best quotes on Scholes from famous opponents.

Pep Guardiola

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.

Zinedine Zidane

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

Xavi

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.

Luis Figo

I’m star-struck when I see Paul Scholes because you never see him. On the pitch you can’t catch him. Off the pitch he disappears.

Lionel Messi

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

Steven Gerrard claimed he was the best player he has shared a pitch with for England before his 100th cap against Sweden and the only travesty of the Manchester United stalwart’s career is that he never lifted a trophy at international level.

So what are his best moments?

Everyone has a favourite Scholes goal that sticks in their mind. The one against Barcelona is my personal favourite although his long range volleys against Bradford and Middlesbrough are also more than admirable efforts.

For me the best Scholes moment has to be his cute pass into Wayne Rooney against AC Milan in the Champions League semi-final of 2007.

Can’t find a video for it but here is that goal against Barcelona…

What are your favourite moments of Paul Scholes’ career on his 38th birthday?

image: © Magnus D

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