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Paul Scholes Reveals How Gareth Bale Made Him Want To Retire From Football

Jack Kenmare


Paul Scholes Reveals How Gareth Bale Made Him Want To Retire From Football

Paul Scholes made the difficult decision of retiring from the beautiful game in 2011.

After a career spanning 17 years and 676 appearances, Manchester United's ever-reliable midfielder decided it was time to pursue a career in coaching but as we all know, Scholes made a dramatic comeback the following year.

He played for a further 18 months, lifting another Premier League title before hanging up his boots for good.

Scholes waves goodbye the first time. Image: PA Images.
Scholes waves goodbye the first time. Image: PA Images.

Speaking to BT Sport though, Scholes revealed that Spurs players Gareth Bale and Mousa Dembele made him realise it was time to end his playing career.

Here's how it all played out - from coming back from retirement to the day he knew it was time to hang up his classic Total 90 boots.

"I went to Joycey (reserve team manager at the time Warren Joyce) and said 'look I'm thinking of coming back'," he said.

"I spoke to Gary Neville and Phil Neville to see what they thought about it. Gary especially encouraged me to go and see Mick Phelan, who was the assistant.

"I was nervous about doing it because of what they might say. What if he had said no?

"I had made my mind up and if he said no, I would have gone on to play for somebody else.

"I was coming back whatever happened. Obviously I didn't want to play for another team as I wanted to play for United.

"I went to see Mick and he thought it was a great idea," he explained, revealing he still had to convince the main man at Old Trafford.

"The day after, still nervous, I said [to Sir Alex Ferguson] I think I'm coming back to play and straight away he said 'great, let me ring [chief executive] David Gill so we can sort your contract out.'"

"I really wish I had stopped then," Scholes added.

"That was enough really because we got to the next season and the manager gave me another year but when I say I was gone the first time, I was definitely gone this time.

"I remember playing a game against Tottenham at home, it was only the third or fourth game of the season, and I think we got beat at home 3-2.

"I played alright in possession but I remember [Mousa] Dembele just cruising past me, Gareth Bale.... I know they cruise past people but I was just watching and thinking 'I can't do this anymore'.

"I wanted to retire early again that season but I just thought it would look a bit stupid, a bit embarrassing."

Image: PA
Image: PA

In fairness to the former player turned BT pundit, coming up against Dembele and Bale is difficult enough for some players at their prime, never mind a then 38 year old who'd already retired once and had wanted to again earlier than he did.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Paul Scholes, Football News, Football, gareth bale

Jack Kenmare
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