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  • Paul Scholes has opened up on coming out of retirement for Manchester United
  • Scholes originally retired in May 2011 but was back at the club eight months later
  • He revealed he had to buy a £50 pair of boots to play in on his second debut
  • Scholes signed a one -year contract extension to keep him at the club until 2013 
  • He knew it was over after Spurs’ Gareth Bale and Mousa Dembele dominated him

Max Winters For Mailonline

Paul Scholes has opened up on coming out of retirement for Manchester United in 2012, revealing he had to buy a £50 pair of boots to play in and he knew his football career was finally over when Tottenham duo Gareth Bale and Mousa Dembele ran rings around him.

The Old Trafford legend originally called time on his Manchester United career in May 2011 but swiftly returned to the fold in January 2012 to save Sir Alex Ferguson’s side from a midfield crisis.

So secretive was his return that Scholes had to buy a £50 pair of boots to play in on his second debut against Manchester City. Speaking as a pundit for BT Sport after United’s FA Cup win over Huddersfield on Saturday, Scholes admitted he should not have carried on the following season and knew his time was up after Bale and Dembele dominated him in one game.

Paul Scholes has opened up on coming out of retirement for Manchester United in 2012

‘That season (2011/12) was great. We almost won the league – City obviously won it with [Sergio] Aguero in the last minute – which was disappointing; I really wish I’d stopped then. That was enough really. Because we got to the next season, the manager gave me another year, but I was – I say I was gone the first time [I retired] – but this time I was really gone,’ Scholes said.

‘I remember a game against Tottenham at home, it was only the third, fourth game of the season, I think we got beat at home 3-2. I played alright in possession, but I remember [Mousa] Dembele cruising past me, Gareth Bale, I know they cruise past people but I remember thinking ‘I just can’ do this anymore’. I wanted to retire again very early that season, but I just thought I’d look stupid. It would have just looked embarrassing.’ 

‘I think I trained once with the first team before I came back in January 2012. I had to sort some boots out so I went down to the local shop and bought a pair of cheap boots for £50 because I hadn’t got a sponsor. We couldn’t let Nike know because it’d be obvious I was coming back.’

He knew his  career was over when Spurs duo Gareth Bale and Mousa Dembele dominated him

He knew his  career was over when Spurs duo Gareth Bale and Mousa Dembele dominated him

He knew his career was over when Spurs duo Gareth Bale and Mousa Dembele dominated him

Scholes had to buy a £50 pair of boots to play in on his return because sponsors couldn't know

Scholes had to buy a £50 pair of boots to play in on his return because sponsors couldn't know

Scholes had to buy a £50 pair of boots to play in on his return because sponsors couldn’t know

Scholes returned to save United's midfield crisis after they suffered a number of injuries

Scholes returned to save United's midfield crisis after they suffered a number of injuries

Scholes returned to save United’s midfield crisis after they suffered a number of injuries

Scholes had originally come back to coach the club’s Under-23 team but found himself wanting a return to first team action after training regularly with the club’s reserves. An injury crisis within the first team had robbed Ferguson of his midfield, paving the way for Scholes to return. 

‘Ferguson wanted me to come back and originally coach the reserve team with Warren Joyce and in the September I said I would. More than often I was training every day with the likes of (Jesse) Lingard, (Paul) Pogba all those kind of players. It was a really good side.

‘I was loving training, getting fit and it got to December time. The team was struggling a bit, they had a load of injuries and no central midfielders really, I think they ended up playing Phil Jones and Fabio da Silva against I think it was Blackburn at Old Trafford and they really struggled. Funnily enough I think that was the end of Pogba that night because he thought he should have been playing instead of them two but he wasn’t doing well enough in the reserve team to warrant a first team chance.

‘I spoke to Gary and Phil Neville to see what they thought about it and Gaz said I should go and see Mick Phelan, assistant manager, so I went to his office and I was nervous about doing it because he may have said no. But Id decided if he said no I would go to play for someone else because I knew I was coming back. I went to see Mick and he said it was a great idea so the day after, still nervous, I knocked on his door and said I was thinking of coming back and he said “great” straightaway, “let me ring David Gill and we’ll get your contract sorted out.”

He came on at 3-0 up against Man City but gave away a bad pass that allowed City to score

He came on at 3-0 up against Man City but gave away a bad pass that allowed City to score

He came on at 3-0 up against Man City but gave away a bad pass that allowed City to score

Scholes wanted to retire again very early in the 12/13 season but thought he'd look stupid

Scholes wanted to retire again very early in the 12/13 season but thought he'd look stupid

Scholes wanted to retire again very early in the 12/13 season but thought he’d look stupid

Scholes discussed his return in large detail after watching United beat Huddersfield 2-0

Scholes discussed his return in large detail after watching United beat Huddersfield 2-0

Scholes discussed his return in large detail after watching United beat Huddersfield 2-0

Scholes went on to reveal how Ferguson kept his return a secret right until the moments before kick-off. After coming on as a substitute, a poor pas from Scholes allowed Sergio Aguero to nip in to make it 3-1 and he instantly questioned what he was doing. 

‘He didn’t tell the players because I think he just wanted to keep it quiet. Playing City away and he said just come to the hotel , The Lowry, on the Saturday night before the game on the Sunday and just sit on the staff table, maybe have half a glass of wine and just don’t say a word. Then I get to the ground the next day and I know what’s going on so I’m a bit nervous about what the lads are going to think and then we get in the dressing room and my shirt is up and I’ve been named as substitute. 

‘I remember we were 3-0 up when I came on against 10 men and it went to 3-2. I gave the first goal away and I thought “what am I doing here”. I remember David Platt was a coach under Mancini and I’m warming up and I was about to go on for the last half an hour and Platt said to me “what the hell are you doing?”. At that time I thought “what am I doing here?” but then I gave a bad pass for a throw in and Aguero nipped in to score and then they scored again and you start to panic and I’m thinking “what have I just done?”.


–Credit: Sport | Mail Online