Wednesday 16 May 2012
Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs has paid tribute to team-mate Paul Scholes, calling him the "best player I have played with".
Giggs and Scholes have been an integral part of Manchester United's success over the 20 seasons of the Premier League, with both making their debuts for the club in the early 1990s.
Scholes retired at the end of the 2010/11 campaign after winning 10 Premier League titles but was persuaded to return in January this year.
His decision to return proved to be inspired as he produced a series of impressive displays to help Manchester United come to within a whisker of winning this season's title.
"He just doesn't give the ball away, he controls the tempo of games"
- Ryan Giggs on Paul Scholes
Scholes has decided to play on for another season and Giggs, speaking after being named as the Best Player in the Premier League's 20 Seasons Awards, says he is delighted with that decision.
"It's massively important that we can keep that sort of quality at the club," said Giggs. "It's probably been the best he has ever played since he has come back.
"He just doesn't give the ball away, he controls the tempo of games, in training and in matches you find yourself laughing to yourself because he makes it look so easy.
"He's easily the best player I have played with because of that."
Scholes may have retired from international football but Giggs believes that if the 37-year-old decides to feature again for England, he would play a key role at Euro 2012 this summer.
"He's going to get talked about [for England's Euro 2012 squad] because of the quality that he has got," added Giggs. "He's the kind of player you would want in your team.
"Him and Xavi are the same sort of players. They just control the tempo of great teams and to do that you need to be a special player. That's what he does. In any team and any tournament he would shine.
"He is unique. It's not as if he just turns up in games and does it, he does it every day in training."
Such has been their contribution to the Premier League, both Giggs and Scholes were named in the public and panel Fantasy Teams for the 20 Seasons Awards, which were announced on Monday.
"He's got so many positives and so many things he can bring to the table"
- Ryan Giggs on Gary Neville
The teams were dominated by Manchester United players and another Old Trafford star that made both XIs was right-back Gary Neville.
Neville also retired in February 2011 after making 602 appearances for United and, having forged a successful career as a pundit for Sky Sports since then, the 37-year-old was this week named as a member of the England coaching staff.
"Gary Neville will have a good impact," said Giggs. "He has just stopped playing, he has done well on the telly this year with his views and his outlook on football, he has got fresh ideas and he has played at the top himself.
"He's got so many positives and so many things he can bring to the table.
"He knows what the modern-day footballer wants and needs which is important. No matter what he would have done, he would have been a success because he is that sort of person, he is a force of nature.
"He is driven, he is very ambitious and he is very good at what he does. I am sure he will be a success at coaching."