Scholesy's 'Perfect Player' is a Ballon d'Or winner!

Wednesday 02 August 2023 07:00

Paul Scholes has picked which attributes of Manchester United players past and present would make up his perfect footballer.  

In our challenge, the Reds legend has plenty of tough decisions to make and particularly when considering the array of world-class talent that has graced the Old Trafford turf.

From who has the best right foot to the strongest mentality, find out which 10 Reds our former midfielder has selected… 

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Scholes says: “His free-kicks, his corners, his set-pieces, his passing - brilliant. Stylish to watch, a brilliant right-foot, he could put it anywhere he wanted to.” 


Scholes says: “When dribbling, that ball stuck to his foot. I don’t think he was somebody who wanted to use his right foot that often, but he was capable of doing so. But his left foot, again, it was his weight of pass, his vision, set-pieces.”

Scholes says: “I would probably go with Cristiano. Not many people give him credit for that. I remember one goal he did score - Roma away - he’s on the penalty spot and he leaps from the edge of the box. It was like a Michael Jordan jump and he smashed it in with his head.” 


Scholes says: “I don’t think there’s many quicker than Marcus, is there? Andy Cole as well in tight little areas where he had to sprint and really have an eye for a goal. I think Luke Shaw is rapid as well, I think he’s really quick, but I think in forward areas, I would probably have to choose Marcus. He can go past a man either way with that speed and pace, and it definitely helps you.” 


Scholes says: “I would probably go with Nicky out of everyone, he was one of the hardest tacklers I’ve ever seen. I remember one my first games - Newcastle away, and we were young playing in the League Cup. They had a big centre-half, Darren Peacock, and he came running through and Nicky met him head on and the noise I heard, I thought it was four broken legs. Nicky was such a tough tackler, he wasn’t afraid of anything.” 
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Scholes says: “That’s easy, Ruud. Although we had some brilliant finishers, don’t get me wrong: Coley, Teddy, Ole, what a finisher. But I always felt Ruud took chances as if it were the last chance he was ever going to have in his life. He was ruthless, so I would go for Ruud. 

“If we won 5-0 and he hadn’t scored he would be annoyed, if we had got beat 5-1 and he had scored, he would be quite happy. He lived for scoring goals, I loved that about him.” 


Scholes says: “An absolute beast, animal of a man. Loved playing with him and they probably don’t get the credit they deserve, these defenders, because if you’re at United it’s all about scoring goals and entertaining.  

“When you’re a midfield player, especially my type of midfield player - I just wanted to think about scoring goals, I didn’t have to defend when you had Jaap and people like Rio Ferdinand, Ronny Johnsen. They were so good one on one, they just took the ball off the centre-forwards and we all know the power and strength Jaap had. Not just defensive, he used to spring forward as well.” 
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Scholes says: “It would have to be Cristiano I suppose, when he first came he frustrated me at times, don’t get me wrong, but to see someone with that ability and the way to handle the ball. The skills and the brilliance that went with it. We can all have skills but unless it's effective, he was effective. He was doing it to beat a man and hopefully create something. ” 


Scholes says: “Bruno I would have to say. We had a lot of good players in my team - Giggsy’s vision was brilliant, David Beckham, but now I think it’s close between Eriksen and Bruno. I think what Bruno has been doing for a couple of years now is he sees everything on a football pitch. He plays in that position and he’s actually played a bit deeper. 

“I love him in that role, I’m not sure it’s a role he would do year after year. I think he would like to get back into that no. 10, but yeah I think his vision is brilliant. He’s not afraid to lose the ball, we all say at United, you have to be prepared to take risks, he’s prepared to do that and we all know the ability he’s got.” 
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Scholes says: “Probably Roy Keane, I would say. A real leader and when I say mentally, people probably think it takes away from ability but it doesn’t, he had absolutely everything in abundance. Mentally was probably his strongest point, I can’t think of anything that ever phased him and I don’t think anything ever worried him - who he was playing against and what stage he was on. 

“I didn't really know him when he was a young player, but I think it has to be a natural way about you as well. Probably the way you brought up is probably something to do with that, not being worried about anything. But then again, you make a good point. People like Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce, you know, been around that team. Peter Schmeichel, there were people to learn from him. I think his mentality and attitude was second to none.” 

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