Fergie: 'I'd pick Scholes for Euro final on sentiment'

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he will pick Paul Scholes in his team for "sentimental" reasons if Manchester United go on to reach the Champions' League final this season.

Scholes suffered the heartache of missing United's dramatic 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich in the 1999 European Cup final through suspension, and Ferguson says the midfielder will definitely be in the starting XI should United make it to Moscow in May, 50 years after the Munichair disaster and 40 years after United's first European Cup triumph over Benfica.

United drew 1-1 in Lyon in the first leg of their last-16 tie and are strong favourites to reach the quarter-finals on Tuesday. Ferguson said: "Hopefully if we get to the final this year he will get his opportunity. I'm not a sentimental man, my job is to manage the club, but I'd be sentimental on that one [picking him]."

Reflecting on Scholes missing the 1999 final, when Roy Keane was also suspended, Ferguson said: "There must have been disappointment. Players of that calibre, with his record in football, he would have missed that just the same as Roy. To miss the biggest club game in the world must have an impact. But he [Scholes] wouldn't have let it destroy him either, because he has achieved so much."

Ferguson said the 33-year-old's role at Old Trafford is changing as the years progress: "He may have to define his role a bit. We can't expect 15 goals a season but Anderson can eventually replace him. [Anderson] is not so much a goal threat at the moment but he has the ability to open up the game the way Scholes could, the confidence to take the ball in tight situations which Scholes is terrific at, that great arrogance Scholes has got, flicking the ball away from defenders, hitting the long pass after the short pass. Scholes has always been good at all that, and Anderson is showinggood signs."

The clock appears to be ticking for Scholes and his evergreen colleague Ryan Giggs, but Ferguson insists the pair still have plenty left in the tank. "Scholes has just come back [from injury] and his first game back was terrific. When you're out three-and- a-half months, sometimes adrenalin helps you, but I've seen him in training and he's flying. Giggs has a little niggle but we want him 100 per cent for Tuesday."

Looking ahead to Lyon, Ferguson was quick to pinpoint the quality of their striker Karim Benzema, who scored in the 1-1 draw last month and has been linked with a summer move to Old Trafford for a fantastical figure of about £45 million.

Ferguson added: "He's the goalscorer in the team, him and Juninho from set-pieces. They are a 100 per cent threat to us and we have to be aware of that. Benzema plays as a lone striker and he's a goal threat. The manner Benzema took his chance tells you he can score out of nothing, and you worry about playerswho score out of nothing."

The England manager, Fabio Capello, believes United's away goal will prove crucial, enabling them to pick off Lyon on the counterattack. "Lyon need to get a goal quickly, but if they come to attack, it will present a problem. I remember last season when Roma attacked while United went on the counterattack. We all saw what happened then," he said of United's 7-1 victory.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little