"He scores goals galore, He scores goals, He scores goals galore, He scores goals, He scores goals galore, He scores goals, Paul Scholes, He scores goals..."
That was just one of the chants that adoring Manchester United supporters would sing when Paul Scholes found the back of the net. He did that with a lot of regularity too, the compact midfield maestro scored 152 times for United over a career spanning two decades at Old Trafford over two glittering spells, but there was so much more to Scholes' game than goals.
👿 Scholes the Mancunian
The ultimate one-club man, Paul Scholes made over 700 appearances for the Red Devils, forming a part of the infamous "Class of '92" alongside David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, and the Neville brothers Gary & Phil.
Scholes was an enduring figure in the United dressing room under Sir Alex Ferguson in two spells on the red half of Manchester, first between 1993 and 2011 and then again in 2012 when he came out of retirement to help United to their 13th Premier League crown. On an individual level, it was the 11th time that Scholes had become a Premier League winner. Only Ryan Giggs has more medals.
Paul Scholes was known around Europe for his sublime passing ability. He should have amassed more than 66 England caps, that's for sure, but clashes of style and philosophy meant that Scholes retired from international football when he was still only 29. Accurate over long and short distances, Scholes was the creative heartbeat for his club and England's loss was very much United's gain as "Scholesy" seemed to get better and better even on the wrong side of 30.
🔴 Paul Scholes’ @ManUtd career:— Futaa.com (@Futaacom) November 16, 2020
🏟 709 appearances
⚽️ 152 goals
🅰️ 73 assists
🦁 11 Premier League titles
🏆 2 Champions League titles
🌍 FIFA Club World Cup
🗺 Intercontinental Cup
🏆 3 FA Cups
🎖 2 League Cups
🧙♂️ Happy birthday to a one-club man & midfield maestro. pic.twitter.com/dBx4uhaPCX
For all of his creative gifts, Scholes also had a destructive side to his game which involved hitting pile-drivers from range and the occasional foul and yellow card. Tackling certainly wasn't his strong suit. However, at a time when the English top-flight was known for its pace, physicality and power, Scholes brought finesse, a fabulous first touch and sublime technical quality to the Manchester United engine room.
🏆 Champions League full-circle
Man United's stoppage-time heroics in the European Cup final in 1999 at the Nou Camp against Bayern Munich are the stuff of legend, but Scholes and his skipper Roy Keane were absent on the night due to suspension.
Nine years later, Scholes played 87 minutes in the driving Moscow rain when United vanquished Chelsea on penalties. Scholes had his second winner's medal but this time he played a key role in the final at the age of 33.
Barcelona legend Xavi was never shy to proclaim his love for Scholes and it's hard not to see why with that exquisite passing range. Andrea Pirlo, Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo were also all part of the Paul Scholes admiration society. Scholes was loved and revered by his world-class peers, and that tells you everything you need to know about him as a footballer.
Happy birthday to a great.