“I am not a man of many words but I can honestly say that playing football is all I have ever wanted to do and to have had such a long and successful career at Manchester United has been a real honour. This was not a decision that I have taken lightly but I feel now is the right time for me to stop playing. To have been part of the team that helped the Club reach that 19th title is a great privilege.”
“I would like to thank the fans for their tremendous support throughout my career, I would also like to thank all the coaches and players that I have worked with over the years, but most of all I would like to thank Sir Alex for being such a great manager, from the day I joined the club his door has always been open and I know this team will go on to win many more trophies under his leadership.”
- Paul Scholes
Tributes to Paul Scholes:
Sir Alex Ferguson: “He’s always had great values about his life. He’s an honest man, a family fan. All the attributes as a player needed to survive long in this game - he’s an example - is Paul Scholes. It’s hard because we’ve had him since he was 13 years of age. Because he’s family it’s a sad parting when he eventually retires and age catches up with him. It’s a great thing that he stayed into his mid-thirties.”
"Scholes is a player of a lifetime. In his 20 years at the club it’s hard to pick out a bad game. He was such a great, consistent player for us but hopefully we can replace him."
“What more can I say about Paul Scholes that I haven’t said before. We are going to miss a truly unbelievable player. Paul has always been fully committed to this Club and I am delighted he will be joining the coaching staff from next season. Paul has always been inspirational to players of all ages and we know that will continue in his new role.”
Gary Neville: "Scholes is gone too early for me because, as a fan, I would like to see him play every single game. He mesmerises me with the way he plays football. So simple and yet so brilliant. But for him it is the right time. He is someone who doesn’t like fuss. He is set in his ways and when he makes a decision he will stick to it. He didn’t like sitting on the bench but he felt it was the right time for him to retire and that is the most important thing. He has got such incredible high standards, and he is tough on himself. I’m not sure what is coaching role is going to be but I’m sure he will grow into it and surprise a lot of people."
“Paul Scholes - The Best! Great Player, Person, Friend!”
Michael Carrick: “Scholesy was just brilliant - how he played the game, how he was off the pitch… he was loved by everyone. None of the lads have a bad word for him. He came in, did the business and then headed off again. He had genius ability that you can’t really teach.”
Wayne Rooney: “Playing with Paul was a privilege. He made football look easy, which is a difficult thing to do.”
“He’ll be missed greatly. I just heard the news this morning. We knew he’d make a decision but didn’t think it would be this quick. We’re all sad to see him stop playing. He’s been great for United and England and he’ll be missed by all of us.”
“He hasn’t started that many games of late and I’m sure that’s come into his head and he’s made his decision. But he’ll be a big miss for us. He’s the best I’ve played with and against. He’s only small but it’s so difficult to get the ball off him. Every United fan will miss him.”
Xavi: “Paul is one of the most complete footballers I’ve ever seen. Of all the English players, I’ve always liked his style of play most.”
Andres Iniesta: “I’ve always wanted to play like Paul. We more or less play in the same position and so I’ve been especially interested in how he plays.”
“My idol is not other than Paul Scholes. I’m a big fan of him. And I’m such a lucky person to swap shirt with him at Champions League Final”.
Tony Adams: “He is one of the best players I have ever played with. On the pitch his passing ability and heading ability was exceptional.”
Teddy Sheringham: “Scholesy was one of the most intelligent players I played with in my career. When you’re a striker playing in front of him, he makes life easy for you.”
Edgar Davids: “Every one of us should emulate him. We can all learn from Paul Scholes.”
Eric Cantona: "I knew Paul Scholes when he was young. He started here with us. He has been a great player. He could play anywhere, midfield, up front, he could score goals, defend, tackle. He could do anything. He is a great player. I am very proud of him."
Sir Bobby Charlton: "He’s always so in control and pinpoint accurate with his passing – a beautiful player to watch."
Gary Pallister: “His record speaks for itself. He’s up there with the greats. He’s done everything that needs to be done in the game. He’s got a great footballing brain and a great appetite to win.”
“When you talk about the greats of Manchester United, he’s up there with Georgie Best, Bryan Robson, Ryan Giggs and Bobby Charlton just purely for the amount of medals that he’s won. He’s going to be greatly missed by Manchester United.”
Dwight Yorke: “When you look back you talk about legends of the game, he’s certainly up there. Twenty trophies since 1994 - he just seems to get better and better. I’ve had the honour of playing alongside him. The four years I’ve played alongside him, he is the best player, one of the first names on the manager’s team sheet.”
“He is just a complete legend. There are not enough players like Paul Scholes around any more for my liking. ‘Legend’ is over-used but this guy is right up there with the very best.”
Socrates: “Paul Scholes… good enough to play for Brazil. I love to watch Scholes, to see him pass, the boy with the red hair and the red shirt.”
Micah Richards: “Paul Scholes always in the right position, the complete midfielder. He’s my favourite player of all-time, unbelievable.”
David Beckham: “I wanted to add my praise to the many comments on Paul Scholes. I was fortunate to play alongside him for many years. He was not only one of England’s best ever players, he was a dedicated professional. We knew him as the ‘silent assassin’ as he was quiet but boy could he make himself heard through his tackles on the training pitch. I’m still carrying a few bruises. What a great career and a Man. United legend.”
Zinedine Zidane: “My toughest opponent? Scholes of Manchester. He is the complete midfielder. Scholes is undoubtedly the greatest midfielder of his generation.”
David Gill: “It is very sad day for Manchester United fans around the world. We all know that Paul was one of the players that came through the ranks of the academy system in the 1990’s and has established himself as one of the greatest players to ever wear the United shirt. It is very important that the club keeps its association with these great players and we are delighted that Paul will join the coaching staff.”
“I want to say thank you to quite a few people - the manager, coaching staff, everybody involved with the club have been great to me over the years and I can’t say how grateful I am for that.”
“To the players - I’ve been privileged to play with so many good players at this club, it’s been a great pleasure. To my family, who mean the world to me and also the people who organised tonight as I know how much hard work has gone into this. And finally, to Eric and his New York Cosmos for being able to put a team together. Also I’d like to thank Nicky Butt and Gary Neville, it was great playing with them over the years.”
“I just want to say thank you to everyone. It has been a special night, but I am glad it’s over, really. I just hope I’ve given the fans some decent memories. I would say thanks to them for being so amazing and that I am just looking forward to being one of them now, and watching this team go on to win more trophies.”
- Paul Scholes