Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has picked Class of ’92 legend Paul Scholes as his favourite ever teammate ahead of his retirement at the end of the season.
Carrick has enjoyed a glittering career with United; during his time with the club he has furnished his personal trophy cabinet with winners’ medals for five Premier League titles, a Champions League and the FA Cup.
The 36-year-old was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2006 from Tottenham Hotspur, and the Wallsend-born midfielder has not only had the privilege of playing under the most successful football manager of all time, he has also played alongside some of the best players of his generation.
Carrick recently accepted a position on Jose Mourinho’s coaching staff, but before he hangs up his boots for the last time he has taken time to reflect on his favourite team mate.
“Scholesy. Giggsy. Wayne. Cristiano. How do you pick between them? Giggsy, wow, incredible footballer. To understand how he played the game was frightening. And Cristiano. Unbelievable,” Carrick told the Times.
“Wazza (Rooney) was ridiculously good, especially when he was younger, one of the best I’ve seen. He was unbelievable. Rio [Ferdinand] and Vida (Nemanja Vidic) too. All different players. But I have to say Scholesy because he was right next door to me every game. I loved playing alongside Scholesy.”
He scores goals galore…
Carrick is not the first high-profile footballer to hail the extraordinary abilities of the red-haired legend. Barcelona icon Xavi Hernandez said, “Paul Scholes is a role model. For me – and I really mean this – he’s the best central midfielder I’ve seen in the last 15, 20 years.”
Zinedine Zidane also reflected Xavi’s words: “My toughest opponent? Scholes of Manchester. He is the complete midfielder. Scholes is undoubtedly the greatest midfielder of his generation.” And even Socrates (the footballer), said Scholes was good enough to play for Brazil: “I love to watch Scholes, to see him pass, the boy with the red hair and the red shirt.”
Such comments provide a contrast with how Scholes seems to view himself: “When it’s over I just want to be able to look in the mirror and say, ‘Well, you were a half-decent player,'” he is quoted as saying.
United are next in action on Wednesday evening against the Premier League side Bournemouth, hoping to bounce back from Sunday’s 0-1 defeat to West Brom, which confirmed local rivals Manchester City as the 2017/18 Premier League champions.