Scholes: Players are selfish when they put on England shirt

Former international midfielder believes representing your country is seen as way to force transfer

Paul Scholes has accused certain "very selfish" England players of putting their personal ambitions ahead of what is best for the national team. The Manchester United striker says some of them use that stage to play for a transfer to a bigger club, which wasone of the reasons why he became disenchanted with international football.

Scholes gave up playing for England after Euro 2004, his fourth major tournament, at which they failed to progress beyond the quarter-final. Now retired at the age of 36 and about to take up a coaching role with Manchester United in September, he won 66 caps, starting in 1997 under Glenn Hoddle.

"I always felt when I first started with England that players – especially players at clubs like your Aston Villas – try to use England as a way to get to a top club," he said. "You feel, are they there for the right reason?

"I think they are very selfish people. They are all there to get their bit of glory, their bit of headlines, to think 'I will get a move from this'. I think that is the biggest problem with English players.

"It was a frustration for us United lads. When there is a simple pass of 10 yards, they might try and smack it 80 yards. They will do things to try and get themselves noticed.

"If you look at the Spain team now, they all seem to play for each other. There isn't one of them who would try to do something in a game that doesn't suit the team. And that could happen over here." Revered by leading Spanish players in particular as one of the most technically gifted Englishmen of his generation, Scholes claims he is far from alone, but believes it is "laughable" to make England favourites whenever a World Cup or European Championship comes around.

"If you look through our teams, there are loads of technically brilliant players but for some reason when we go on to the international scene, we don't look like that," he said.

"We're the favourites every time and we probably will be next time. I think it is quite laughable. It is just the mentality of English people, we think we are going to win everything."

Six years after he gave up on England, Scholes was suddenly asked last summer if he would go to the World Cup, but he clearly has few regrets about saying no.

"I think under Hoddle and Sven [Goran Eriksson] you knew the way you were playing," he says. "But I am thinking how England play now and I don't really know. "

Scholes is currently taking his coaching badges and after his testimonial next month will sit down with Sir Alex Ferguson and discuss his role. "I probably just want to settle into the coaching first," he said. "Whether in two years I've got enough experience and feel like I want to go into management, then maybe."

Paul Scholes' testimonial against New York Cosmos is at Old Trafford on 5 August. Tickets: 0161 868 8000

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?