Scholes reveals he expected to retire

Paul Scholes has admitted at Christmas last year he thought he would have retired by now.

The veteran Manchester United star is currently one of the most talked about players in the Premier League.

Fabio Capello tried - and failed - to talk him out of international retirement in order to play a part in England's ultimately dismal World Cup campaign and successive man-of-the-match performances in the Community Shield and opening day Premier League win over Newcastle confirm the 35-year-old is on top form once more.

Yet, while 2010 will go down as one of Scholes' best years as a professional, in his eyes, 2009 was one of the worst.

And, in a special interview for MUTV with former United European Cup winner Paddy Crerand, Scholes acknowledged things were so bad, he was seriously considering whether to hang up his boots.

"At Christmas last season I did not think I would be playing in this one," he admitted.

"I wasn't playing well enough.

"The season before last I had an injury for three months and then from Christmas onwards my form wasn't brilliant. Leading up to Christmas last year it still wasn't great.

"I wasn't playing as much as I would have liked but you need to be playing well to get into the team.

"I set myself high standards. I want to feel as though I am contributing to the team. If I am not doing that what is the point of being here."

Fortunately, Sir Alex Ferguson had other ideas.

The United boss reassured Scholes he was still making a valuable contribution to the Red Devils cause and after taking the club to within a point of what would have his 10th Premier League title, Capello made his move.

Scholes has already admitted he regrets saying no to the under-fire England chief.

However, the summer break does mean he is fresh at the moment and ready to make a positive impact when his appearances start to get rationed as the games mount up.

"The manager has handled me, Ryan and Gary the same way for the last couple of seasons and I am sure this season will be no different," he said.

"If I am playing well enough, maybe I will play 25 or 30 games.

"You want to play every game but at our age, you can't."

Scholes has now sidelined any talk of retirement and intends to keep going as long as he legs can carry him.

Ferguson recently spoke of the possibility United's ageing heroes could maintain a career at the highest level until they were 40.

Yet even that date is not too far away, leaving the Salford-born star to contemplate what lies ahead.

"I want to stay in football," he said.

"I started my coaching badges towards the end of last season. Hopefully I can get the first part done at some point this year."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence