Saturday, 6 August 2011

'Genius' Paul Scholes bows out with a goal in Manchester United testimonial victory against New York Cosmos

By Greg Stobart at Old Trafford

“Genius” was the word used to describe Paul Scholes by Manchester United fans as they held aloft a mosaic to greet his final appearance in the club's shirt.

He then went and proved it. Playing at Old Trafford for the last time and, wearing the captain's armband, he smashed home a typically luscious strike after eight minutes to prove that, if he wanted to, he could play for another year.
Walking out onto the pitch with his three children, Scholes looked typically sheepish, desperate not to be the centre of attention. After an 18-year career during which he always shunned the limelight, he was the centre of attention.“I'm glad it's all over,” he said with a sigh of relief after the game. That view was not shared by his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, who lamented a "sad parting", and spoke of Scholes leading his life and career with "the right values".
New York Cosmos, who have plans to become a team of Galacticos, were the opponents here, and fielded the likes of Fabio Cannavaro, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires and Gary Neville in their side.
But make no mistake, Old Trafford was packed to the rafters because 76,000 people wanted to show their respect and appreciation for Scholes, one of the greatest British players ever.
Scholes may have wanted the ground to swallow him up, but he knows what people think about him in these parts. At 36, he felt he could no longer do himself justice at the top level, but his intelligence and passing ability allowed him to continue for five years after what he described as his peak.
Cheered with every touch, he produced some typically sumptuous passes as well as a couple of his trademark feisty tackles, including one on his old friend Nicky Butt.

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