Paul Scholes has confirmed his retirement for a second time. The former England midfielder initially quit in 2011 but was persuaded to return for Manchester United in January last year. Now the 38-year-old feels it is time to call it a day.
"Yes I am finally hanging up my boots for good," he said. "Playing football is all I have ever wanted to do and to have had such a long and successful career at Manchester United, under the greatest manager of all time, has been an honour."
Given how much affection he is held in by Sir Alex Ferguson, it is fitting they are bowing out at the same time. "Paul is a truly unbelievable player," Ferguson said: "He will play at Old Trafford against Swansea and will collect a well-deserved 11th Premier League medal."
Regarded by team-mates and opponents alike as one of the finest players of his generation, Scholes will be making his 498th Premier League appearance for United and his 716th in all. He scored his 155th goal against Wigan last September.
Many will argue his decision to turn his back on England at the age of 29 robbed the national side of the most talented player at their disposal. He resisted attempts to lure him back.