Football

Scholes angry with 'selfish' stars

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Paul Scholes has taken a swipe at the "selfish" players he believes are at the root of England`s failures as a national team.

The 36-year-old, who retired this summer, was a highly-regarded midfielder for the Three Lions throughout his 66-cap career, and many felt he retired from the international scene too early in 2004.

Scholes said: "I just got fed up. When you are going to a team, you want to be part of a team and play well, but there are individuals who are after personal glory. I always felt when I first started with England that players - especially players at clubs like your Aston Villas - try to use England as a way to get to a top club. You feel, are they there for the right reason?"

He added: "I think they are very selfish people. They are all there to get their bit of glory, their bit of headlines, to think 'I will get a move from this'. I think that is the biggest problem with English players."

Having been a key part of the Manchester United side through its dominance of the Premier League era, Scholes admits he and his Old Trafford team-mates would come away from England camps frustrated.

He also says it is "laughable" that Fabio Capello`s side are still rated amongst the favourites to win major tournaments, and believes they will not do so until they start to mirror the selfless ethos of World and European champions Spain.

"It was a frustration for us United lads," he added of spending time in camp with other players.

"When there is a simple pass of 10 yards, they might try and smack it 80 yards. They will do things to try and get themselves noticed.

"If you look at the Spain team now, they all seem to play for each other. There isn't one of them who would try to do something in a game that doesn't suit the team. And that could happen over here.

"If you look through our teams, there are loads of technically brilliant players but for some reason when we go on to the international scene, we don't look like that. We're the favourites every time and we probably will be next time. I think it is quite laughable. It is just the mentality of English people, we think we are going to win everything."

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Paul Scholes
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