Paul Scholes (pronounced /ˈpɔːl ˈskoʊlz/) (born 16 November 1974) is an English former footballer who played for Manchester United as a midfielder. He was a one-club man, having spent his entire professional career with Manchester United.
Born in Salford, but later moving to Langley, Scholes excelled in both cricket and football in school. He first trained with Manchester United at the age of 14 after being spotted by a scout at his school, and made his debut for United in the 1994–95 season. He went on to play a key part in Manchester United's Treble-winning season, winning ten Premier League and three FA Cup medals, and a second UEFA Champions League.
Scholes represented the England national team from 1997 to 2004, participating in the 1998 and 2002 World Cup, as well as UEFA Euro 2000 and UEFA Euro 2004. Scholes has amassed over 120 bookings in all competitions during his career and has been sent off ten times.
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.
Scholes made 676 appearances for United, the 4th highest number of appearances by any player for the club. Scholes officially announced his retirement from playing duties on 31 May 2011, and is set to become a club coach from the 2011–12 season onwards. Former France player Zinedine Zidane described Scholes as "undoubtedly the greatest midfielder of his generation."
Paul Scholes Hold Trophy
Amazing Paul Scholes Poster
He announced his retirement on 31 May 2011, with immediate effect, and joined the coaching staff at Manchester United.
On 5 August 2011, United will hold a testimonial match to honour his 17 years of service to United. The match will be played at Old Trafford against New York Cosmos.