Paul Scholes will be included in many professional player’s ultimate XIs.
The former Manchester United is one of the greatest players to grace the Premier League. A brilliant box-to-box midfielder, Scholes was integral in helping the Reds win 11 titles.
You only have to read what Xavi Hernandez said about him to understand how good he was.
“Paul Scholes! A role model,” the Barcelona legend said in an interview with The Guardian in 2011.
“For me – and I really mean this – he’s the best central midfielder I’ve seen in the last 15, 20 years. I’ve spoken to Xabi Alonso about him. He’s spectacular, he has it all: the last pass, goals, he’s strong, he doesn’t lose the ball, vision.
“If he’d been Spanish he might have been rated more highly. Players love him.”
One of a kind
England hasn’t seen a player with Scholes’ vision, intelligence and range of passing since. And with many believing football is headed towards more physical, athletic players, we might never seen a similar player again.
The 42-year-old, who retired in 2013, can currently be found offering his opinions on BT Sport. Scholes was known to be rather shy during his playing days but he’s evolved into quite an outspoken pundit, much to the delight of fans.
Scholes has let go of the shackles and is now unafraid to criticise his former team. He can be just as scathing about Man United as some of his tackles were.
Scholes has played with some greats
Having played in some of the best teams in the club’s history, Scholes can boast of having played with and against some equally talented players. He’s played with Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, and against Xavi and Lionel Messi.
So, when Spanish outlet Marca asked him to name his dream XI of players he’s played with and against, Scholes must have thought long and hard about his selections.
Edwin van der Saar or Peter Schmeichel in goal? Jaap Stam or Nemanja Vidic in defence? Rooney or Ruud van Nistelrooy up front? “I didn’t want to leave anyone out,” the former midfielder said.
Scholes’ XI – Messi didn’t make it
Some sacrifices had to be made. Even Messi, who plenty believe is the greatest of all time, didn’t make the cut. Check out Scholes’ team below.
Full XI (4-4-2)
Peter Schmeichel; Gary Neville, Jaap Stam, Rio Ferdinand, Roberto Carlos; Zinedine Zidane, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Ryan Giggs; Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Yeah. That team rocks.