Football

Gary Neville and Paul Scholes in training for Man United.

Gary Neville recalls how Paul Scholes ‘transformed’ as a footballer in 1993

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Paul Scholes was a quite extraordinary player.

The midfielder made his debut for Manchester United in 1993 and would go on to be a key figure in the club's success for the next two decades.

He eventually retired in 2013 having played 718 times for his club  and has gone down as one of the club's best ever players.

However, as extraordinary as it seems, not everyone thought that he was going to make it as a footballer in the first place.

Even Sir Alex Ferguson himself didn't have high hopes for Scholes when he was a youngster.

The first time the Scottish manager watched Scholes play, he turned to his assistant Jim Ryan and said, per FourFourTwo: “He’s got no chance, he’s a midget.”

And Gary Neville has reiterated that point.

Neville played alongside Scholes for United's youth teams and he has now revealed that he thought his teammate would never make it as a footballer.

Speaking on the 'Quickly Kevin, Will He Score?' podcast, per the Daily Mail, Neville said: 'If you said to me at 12, 13, Scholesy would be one of the greatest players... how?

"He was so small, so slight. He didn't have great energy. He had no strength. You could knock him off the ball because he was really slight.

"He had asthma. He couldn't really run very far. He wasn't quick, he never beat you for pace."

Paul Scholes playing for England in 1993

Neville didn't have high hopes for Scholes, but he then revealed how the midfielder suddenly 'transformed' into a top player.

"He sort of didn't really get into the county team,' Neville continued. "Didn't really play a lot of games. In the first year in 1992 he didn't even play in the youth team.

"All of a sudden the year after, I think that was the point where he stopped drinking beer, and stopped eating pies on a Friday.

"The transformation in two or three years was unbelievable."

Gary Neville revealed how Scholes 'transformed' by giving up pies and beer

So there you have it. It seems Neville credits Scholes' transformation for giving up beer and pies as a youngster.

Neville went on to say that Scholes was the best player he ever played with during his illustrious football career.

"I get to the end of my career and I say he's the best player that I ever played with," he added.

"So you think of that jump of being a 13, 14-year-old when you first see him. Small kid with no strength, not great stamina, can't really run that fast, to becoming the best player I've ever played with – that's a big shift."

Topics:
Paul Scholes
Gary Neville
Football
Manchester United

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