Neville and Scholes argue over Van Nistelrooy

Thursday 22 September 2022 21:11

Manchester United legends Gary Neville and Paul Scholes – who also happen to be best friends – have amusingly clashed over Ruud van Nistelrooy in a new episode of The Overlap.

Neville’s YouTube series has become essential viewing in recent years after providing in-depth interviews with some of sport’s biggest names, as well as live events with supporters. 

Football has naturally provided most of Gary’s guests so far and they have included former United players Roy Keane, David Beckham and Gerard Pique. His latest episode with Scholes was teased on Thursday afternoon with a round of quickfire questions and it led to a fascinating debate on Ruud. 


Van Nistelrooy was a goalscoring sensation throughout his five seasons at United, netting 150 goals in 219 appearances. But the Dutchman’s time as a Red came to an end when Sir Alex Ferguson evolved our style of play to focus on more combative, counter-attacking players, notably with a couple of young talents called Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney becoming more influential. 

Scholes had famously developed an outstanding relationship with van Nistelrooy and often played in the number 10 role behind him, providing the ammunition for Ruud to fire home. It worked magnificently and, in The Overlap, Neville reveals he and Paul disagree over his suitability. 
“We argue about this,” admits Gary. “I love Ruud, we both love Ruud, I do, but I say Manchester United needed counter-attacking players, we needed power and pace when we had, like, Yorke and Cole, or Rooney and Tevez, those types of power players that ran the channels and they were pressing. We were very different with Ruud, but you liked that period with Ruud didn't you.”

In response, Scholes says: “I loved playing with Ruud because I knew what he wanted without speaking to him, if you know what I mean. I don't think it's true [that I was the only one who spot his runs], but I just knew what he wanted and at that time I was playing number 10 really, I wasn't playing in centre-midfield. Do you know what, football is all about that, your relationships with people. I don't think you see a lot of that these days.”
All The Goals: Ruud van Nistelrooy Video

All The Goals: Ruud van Nistelrooy

Enjoy one of the most clinical finishers in United history doing what he did best: score goals.

Van Nistelrooy left United in 2006 and he went on to enjoy success with Real Madrid, while Sir Alex’s evolving team blossomed to win three Premier League titles in a row, plus the Champions League, so it worked out for all parties.

When Ruud appeared on our UTD Podcast series, he reflected on the circumstances of his exit and spoke about the situation with typical class. Of course, he had made up with Sir Alex several years earlier when he returned to Old Trafford to attend the unveiling of his statue. 

Most recently, United fans were delighted to see a photo that van Nistelrooy shared on social media, showing him with Sir Alex after his PSV Eindhoven team had faced Rangers at Ibrox in Europe.


UTD Podcast with Van Nistelrooy: