Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson feels Paul Scholes offers the perfect example for any young professional wanting to make the most of their talent.
Although Scholes has just been ruled out for 10 weeks after sustaining a knee injury in the midweek Champions League win over Aalborg, the 33-year-old has still been offered a new one-year contract which will will extend his stay at Old Trafford to two decades, after originally joining as a callow 14-year-old.
"Paul is proof that if you look after yourself you can carry on playing and be rewarded at a club of this size," said Ferguson.
"He is 34 now and he has been here since he was 14," he added. "That tells you the desire and the ability he has to stay at the top.
"He has come back repeatedly and even though he is injured now, he will be working away in the gym so that when he comes back he will be ready."
Three years ago it was feared the no-nonsense Salford-born midfielder might never play again after picking up a serious eye injury at Birmingham that kept him out for four months.
Initially, the Red Devils struggled to identify the source of a problem that left Scholes with permanent double vision. Eventually though, they found the right treatment and Scholes made it back for the final game of the season against Charlton, the last time United ended a campaign without a trophy.
Since then, Ferguson's side have claimed two more Premier League titles, taking Scholes' tally to eight.
"I am very confident Paul will be back," said the United boss. "He can play for at least another year. I have no fears about that.
"He has the same characteristics as Gary Neville, who has just come back after 18 months out. They look after themselves and you have to admire that perseverance and determination."
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