Top five: Match-winning volleys from the modern era (4)

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3) Paul Scholes, Manchester United vs Barcelona

Paul Scholes is widely considered to be one of the greatest midfielders of his time, and it is not surprising that the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, Pep Guardiola and Xavi Hernandez have been effusive in their praise for the Ginger Assassin over the years.

He was one of the greatest passers of the ball the world has ever seen, and was known for his unparalleled ability to control the pace and direction of a game and to score goals of the utmost importance when he was most needed.

Scholes will be remembered for his God-given ability on the pitch and exemplary behaviour off it, and will always be a legend at Old Trafford. 

It is difficult to pick out the greatest moment from a career that spanned 19 years and saw the man win so many trophies and accolades, but if one were pushed to select the definitive Paul Scholes moment, it would have to be the belter he scored against Barcelona in the second leg of the semifinal of the 2007-08 Champions League campaign.

The 2007-08 season hadn't been the best one for Scholes, and he made just 34 appearances all season (he suffered ligament damage and missed three months of the campaign), scoring just two goals. One of them just happened to take United through to the final of the Champions League.

And it was a goal to remember!

A Cristiano Ronaldo run down the left of the pitch was halted by right-back Gianluca Zambrotta, but the Italian's attempt at a clearance fell to Scholes, who took a touch to set himself him and whacked the ball with the outside of his right boot to send it flying into the top corner.

"You couldn't have placed it there if you'd tried with your hands", the 21 other players on the pitch must've been thinking, but that goal was quintessential Paul Scholes, the sweetest strike you'll ever see.

United held on to the 1-0 lead against the likes of Messi, Henry and Xavi, and went on to win the final against Chelsea. 

While Cristiano Ronaldo would go on to receive all the praise for United's double-winning season, Paul Scholes' stunner against Barcelona was undoubtedly the most important goal of the club's season.

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Paul Scholes
Steven Gerrard
Zinedine Zidane

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