When Paul Scholes retired back in 2011, Manchester United fans would have been left thinking they’ll never see a midfielder like him again.
The Englishman made a total of 676 appearances in a United shirt between 1994 and 2011, scoring 150 goals in all competitions.
And he was a key part of Sir Alex Ferguson's side that dominated European football over two decades.
Scholes won 11 Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the Champions League on two occasions, along with two League Cups and five Community Shields.
Truly, United fans thought they'd never see a player like him again. But, after making a shock decision to reverse his retirement, Scholes returned for United less than a year after leaving.
When an injury crisis hit Ferguson's squad in January 2012, the 37-year-old found himself coming on as a substitute in an FA Cup tie against neighbors Manchester City.
Scholes went on to play another 42 times for United, proving his incredible commitment to the team that helped him become one of the greatest midfielders of his generation.
He did hang up his boots for good in 2013 and has since gone on to work as a television pundit for BT Sport.
And last night, while covering his old team's FA Cup tie against Huddersfield Town, Scholes revealed what happened when he returned to United six years ago.
Interestingly, he explained how he went to great lengths to avoid anyone finding out his intentions of coming out of retirement.
"I think I trained once with the first team before I came back in January 2012," Scholes said on BT Sport, per the Daily Mail.
"I had to sort some boots out so I went down to the local shop and bought a pair of cheap boots for £50 because I hadn’t got a sponsor. We couldn’t let Nike know because it’d be obvious I was coming back."
In fact, even Ferguson wanted to keep his return quiet, so much so that he didn't even tell the teammates Scholes would be playing with against City.
"He didn’t tell the players because I think he just wanted to keep it quiet. Playing City away and he said just come to the hotel, The Lowry, on the Saturday night before the game on the Sunday and just sit on the staff table, maybe have half a glass of wine and just don’t say a word.
"Then I get to the ground the next day and I know what’s going on so I’m a bit nervous about what the lads are going to think and then we get in the dressing room and my shirt is up and I’ve been named as substitute."
Fair play to Ferguson and Scholes for keeping the whole return so quiet. Most players would have made a big fuss and loved the attention on such a big comeback.
But not Scholes. And that proves just how professional he was as a player, right up to the very end of his career.
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