Tuesday 15 May 2012
Manchester United have confirmed that midfielder Paul Scholes will play on for the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League season.
The 37-year-old quit at the end of the 2010/11 campaign, but he came out of retirement in January and played 17 League matches for United as they finished second on goal difference, scoring four times in the process.
And at the club's end of season awards night on Monday, manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed Scholes will be available to him for at least one more term.
"Paul knew he'd made a mistake. If he plays 25 games, they'll be of real quality"
- Sir Alex Ferguson
"It's been done," said Ferguson. "I've spoken to him and he's staying. I'm delighted. He knew he'd made a mistake.
"He now realises that if he plays 25 or 30 games next season, they'll be of real quality. We know our player very well. We've had him since he was a kid and we know how to use him.
"I think this will be Paul's last season, though."
Former England midfielder Scholes stunned football when he reappeared in a United shirt in January's FA Cup third round victory at Manchester City, eight months after hanging up his boots.
But Scholes was arguably Man Utd's best player in the second half of the season and in April he came third behind Arsenal's Robin van Persie and team-mate Wayne Rooney in the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award.
Former Man Utd captain Bryan Robson revealed his delight at Scholes' decision to continue playing.
"Why would you not stay?" said Robson. "Since Scholesy's come back, he's been terrific. To run games in the Premier League like he has since he's come back, has been great.
"He's got such a great footballing brain, his passing range is so great. I'm just delighted that Scholesy is staying.
"He retired at the end of last season because he said he had aches and pains in his body and he didn't feel he was up to it. So it was nice that he had the rest, he's come back and he feels like he's up to it again. It's great news for United."
On Monday night, Scholes was named in the Premier League's 20 Seasons Awards Fantasy Teams - both the public and panel-voted XIs.