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Paul Aaron Scholes (Salford, England, November 16, 1974) is an English footballer who made his professional debut for Manchester United, the club which has played his entire career. Scholes has played with the selection of England football team for seven years, having debuted officially in 1997. He has represented England at four major tournaments in the 1998 World Cup and 2002 European Championships and the 2000 and 2004. After completing the European football championship 2004, Scholes announced his retirement from national team, showing his intentions to focus on his career with Manchester United, spend more time with his family and leave his room for younger players with more projection.
He has been with the England football team on 66 occasions and scored 14 goals. Scholes made his first appearance in a friendly against South Africa with a win (2-1) at Old Trafford and was selected to contest the World Cup 1998.
His international career continued after the removal of the England 1998 World Cup at the hands of Argentina on penalties in the first round of qualifying. Scholes made a hat-trick against Poland. In addition, Scholes scored both goals in the victory (2-0) at Hampden Park on Scotland qualifying for Euro 2000. When he was ejected against Sweden at Wembley in 1999, became the first English player to have been (if we consider that the stadium was demolished after, we could say it is and will be the only player who has and has received a red card in the old stadium).
By the turn of the century, Scholes became a regular in midfield for England. Even after the World Cup of 2002 saw increased security and lowered the truth is that secured his position until the European Football Championships 2004, where the arrival of Frank Lampard was forced to play down the left (position who do not like to play). Paul announced his retirement from international football in August 2004, saying he wanted to stay focused on things he considered more important as your club or your family.
In the season 2010 - 2011 Premier League, Scholes managed to score his goal number 150, in a game tied with Fulham Manchester.
Nickname: ado, Silent Hero, The Wizards of Old Trafford, Scholes Dad
Birth: 16 November 1974 (36) Salford. England
Nationality: Flag of England
Current Club: Manchester United
Height: 1.70 meters
International matches: 66 (National team)
Total Goals: 14 (Selection)
Year of debut: 1993
Club debut: Manchester United
Scholes was not a member of Manchester United's 1992 FA Youth Cup-winning squad that included future senior teammates David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, but he was part of the youth team that reached the final in the following season, alongside Phil Neville. Scholes turned professional on 23 July 1993 and was issued with the number 24 shirt, but did not make his breakthrough into the senior squad until the 1994–95 season, when he made seventeen league appearances and scored five goals. His debut came on 21 September 1994, where he scored both goals in a 2–1 victory over Port Vale in the Football League Cup. His league debut came three days later against Ipswich Town at Portman Road, a game which United lost 3–2 and Scholes scored a consolation goal. He scored two league goals came on 10 December when United beat QPR 3–2 at Loftus Road. On 3 January 1995, he got onto the scoresheet at Old Trafford for the first time with the opener in a 2–0 league win over Coventry City. He scored once more that season, in a 3–2 away win over Coventry City on 1 May.
Scholes came on as a substitute in the 1995 FA Cup final against Everton, which United lost 1–0. He came close to scoring twice late in the game, only to be foiled by Neville Southall both times. In 1995–96, after Mark Hughes moved to Chelsea, Scholes had more first-team opportunities, standing in for the suspended Eric Cantona as Andrew Cole's strike partner for the first two months of the campaign. Scholes (now wearing the number 22 shirt) scored fourteen goals in all competitions as United became the first English team to win the double twice. He picked up another Premier League winners medal in 1996–97 - in this season he changed his shirt number to 18, which he held for the next 15 years.
In the 1996 close season, when United unsuccessfully tried to sign Alan Shearer from Blackburn Rovers, the Ewood Park club reportedly demanded that United should offer Scholes in exchange if any bid for Shearer from United was to be considered. By this stage, Scholes was rated at £5million, and Blackburn had already rejected a part-exchange deal involving £7million-rated Andy Cole. However, Shearer never came to Old Trafford, instead joining Newcastle United for £15million.
After Roy Keane suffered a knee injury in late September 1997 and was ruled out for the season, Scholes moved to central midfield in the 1997–98 season. However, United finished the season without a major trophy, only the second time in the 1990s that this happened.
In 1998–99, Scholes was a key player in Manchester United's Premier League title, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League Treble success. He scored one of Manchester United's two goals against Newcastle in the FA Cup final. He also scored an away goal against Internazionale in the Champions League quarter-final. He came on as a substitute in the second leg of the semi final against Italian club Juventus as Sir Alex Ferguson opted for Nicky Butt in the starting line up. He picked up a yellow card which ruled him out of the final victory over Bayern Munich through suspension.
In 2001–02, Manchester United completed the signing of Argentine international Juan Sebastián Verón. In order to accommodate Scholes and Veron, Ferguson persisted with the 4–4–1–1 formation, which saw Scholes playing at the withdrawn striker role behind Ruud van Nistelrooy as Roy Keane and Veron played in central midfield. In European away fixtures, Scholes was often played in central midfield alongside Veron as Keane anchored. However, Scholes failed to adapt to the system and his form suffered. Scholes netted a career-high twenty goals in all competitions in the 2002–03 season, a number that dipped to fourteen the next year. This was despite a career-best four FA Cup goals, in comparison to his total of five FA Cup goals scored in his first nine seasons. He helped Manchester United reach the 2005 FA Cup Final but saw his penalty saved by Jens Lehmann as they lost to Arsenal in a penalty shootout. He was ruled out for the second half of the 2005–06 campaign with blurred vision. The cause of this was initially uncertain, sparking fears that it could end his career. He overcame this problem through the beginning of the year and he appeared in Manchester United's final game of the season against Charlton Athletic. Reportedly, Scholes' vision has not completely recovered. Paul Scholes On 22 October 2006, in the 2–0 Premier League victory over Liverpool, Scholes became the ninth United player to play in five hundred matches, joining Bobby Charlton, Bill Foulkes, and current teammate Ryan Giggs.
Scholes was dismissed during Manchester United's 1–0 away victory over Liverpool on 3 March 2007, for swinging an arm at Xabi Alonso. It marked his first league expulsion since April 2005. A month later, he was sent off in the first leg of Manchester United's Champions League quarter final at A.S. Roma. On 23 August 2007, he was shortlisted for a place in the English Football Hall of Fame, which ultimately went to Dennis Bergkamp as voted for by Football Focus viewers. Scholes with Owen Hargreaves after Manchester United's defeat to Manchester City on 10 February 2008 Scholes suffered knee ligament damage during a training session the night before Manchester United's Champions League Group F matchup with Dynamo Kiev on 23 October 2007, and was out of action until the end of January 2008. He returned as a substitute in Manchester United's 3–1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round of the FA Cup. On 23 April 2008, Scholes made his hundredth Champions League appearance in a semi-final 0–0 draw at FC Barcelona, and scored the only goal in a 1–0 victory in the second leg that sent United into the final. During the final against Chelsea, he suffered an injury and received a yellow card after a clash with Claude Makélélé; he was substituted in the 87th minute and did not take part in the penalty shoot-out that was won 6–5 by United after a 1–1 extra-time draw.
Scholes was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in September 2008. In a December 2008 interview with The Daily Mirror, he said he planned to retire from football completely in two years. "I think I've got two years left at the most [...] I'm looking forward to finishing and everything that goes with it."
On 22 April 2009, he made his 600th appearance for Manchester United in a 2–0 win over Portsmouth.
On 16 February 2010, Scholes scored his third Champions League goal of the season against Milan in a 3–2 win; it was also United's first ever away goal against Milan. This gave United their first ever away win over Milan and also made Scholes the first ever player to score against both Internazionale and Milan at the San Siro in the Champions League. On 6 March 2010, Scholes became the 19th player in Premier League history to score 100 goals and also the third United player after Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney to do so in the 2009–10 season, netting the only goal in a 1–0 win over Wolves at Molineux. On 16 April 2010, Scholes signed a new one-year contract with United, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2010–11 season.
Scholes began the 2010–11 season strongly, displaying Man of the Match performances against Chelsea in the 2010 Community Shield on 8 August and eight days later in the opening fixture of the new league campaign against Newcastle United as he assisted two goals in a 3–0 home victory. Scholes scored his 150th goal for Manchester United in a 2–2 away draw against Fulham on 22 August; he was also awarded the Premier League Player of the Month for August 2010. In April 2011, Scholes was sent off for a high challenge on Pablo Zabaleta in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City; Manchester United went on to lose the fixture 1–0.
He announced his retirement on 31 May 2011, with immediate effect, and joined the coaching staff at Manchester United.
On 5 August 2011, United held a testimonial match to honour his 17 years of service to United. The match was played at Old Trafford against New York Cosmos. United won the match 6–0, with Scholes opening the scoring with a trademark strike from 25 yards out.
On 8 January 2012, Scholes reversed his decision to retire because of the injury crisis in the Manchester United squad and made his return as a substitute during a 3–2 win, against neighbours Manchester City in the FA Cup. His customary number 18 shirt occupied by Ashley Young, Scholes wore the number 22 which he had last worn during the 1995–96 season as he replaced Nani in the 59th minute. He made his first start in the next game against Bolton Wanderers, where he scored his first goal since returning in a 3–0 victory at Old Trafford, converting a Wayne Rooney pass; this meant he had scored at least one goal in every season in the Premier League since 1994–95. He scored his second goal since coming back in a 2-1 away win against Norwich City on 26 February, heading home a cross from Nani. On 8 April he scored in a 2-0 win against Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford, helping Manchester United to go eight points clear of rivals Manchester City in the Premier League.
Scholes made his international debut against South Africa in 1997 in a 2–1 friendly win at Old Trafford, and was included in the England squad for the 1998 World Cup. England were grouped with Colombia, Tunisia and Romania. During England's first World Cup group match against Tunisia, Scholes sealed a 2–0 victory with a goal late in the game.
His international career continued after England's elimination from the World Cup by Argentina on penalties in the first knock-out round. On 27 March 1999, Scholes managed a hat-trick for England in a game against Poland. In addition, Scholes scored both goals in England's 2–0 win at Hampden Park over Scotland in the Euro 2000 play-off first leg, sealing a 2–1 aggregate win and qualification for the finals tournament. In a qualifier against Sweden that June, Scholes became the first and last England player to be sent off in an international match at the old Wembley Stadium.
With the turn of the century, Scholes became a prominent player in England's midfield, becoming a first-choice selection for the 2002 World Cup. However, after the tournament, Scholes saw his opportunities in the national team decline due to Sven-Göran Eriksson playing him out of position on the left midfield to accommodate the pairing of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in central midfield. Scholes announced his retirement from international football in August 2004, citing his family life and his club career with Manchester United as being more important.
In July 2006, following Eriksson's departure, there was talk of Scholes making himself available for international duty again under new manager Steve McClaren, but nothing ever came of it. In May 2010, McClaren's successor Fabio Capello approached Scholes about a return to international football in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup, but the player rejected the offer saying he'd prefer to spend time with his family. On 7 June 2010, Scholes revealed had Capello given him more time and had asked earlier then he would have probably taken the opportunity. On 27 July 2010, Scholes then revealed his disappointment in not taking the opportunity to play at another World Cup, saying he may have made a mistake.
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