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."
Latest in Sport
Brendan Rodgers says Manchester City's slip is timely warning for Liverpool title hopes
30 players who could be set for a big-money transfer this summer
Manchester United transfer news: David Moyes watches Porto stars Eliaquim Mangala and Jackson Martinez as recruitment drive steps up a gear
Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 2 match report: Gareth Bale scores wonder goal to claim Copa del Rey for Real
Luis Suarez: Could Liverpool cash in on their star striker if they won the Premier League this season?
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 The Hobbit: There and Back Again set for possible title change
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back