Manchester United’s legend, Paul Scholes, is one of the top players in the history of the football world. Throughout his career, Scholes only defended one team, the Red Devils.
In his 18 years of professional career, Scholes has played 718 matches and scored 155 goals. A total of 499 matches were played by Scholes in the domestic league, where he managed to score 107 goals; despite playing as a mere midfielder.
This player who was born on November 16, 1974, was also able to present up to 25 trophies for Manchester United; including 11 premier league trophies and 2 Champions League titles.
Besides being Sir Alex Ferguson’s mainstay at Man United, Scholes also became a favorite player of the English national team to fill the midfield position from 1997 to 2004.
Although known as a great player, Scholes was not ashamed to admit that Lionel Messi has once scared him. This player who retired from MU in 2013 even stated that he always hoped to occupy the furthest position from Messi every time MU and Barcelona competed.
“I am not ashamed to admit that in the match against Barcelona, I spent a lot of time just hoping he would take the position as far as possible from me”
“Elusive is a word that immediately pops into my mind when I think about Messi’s style of play. When you think you are in the right position to watch him, suddenly – boom – he has left you and appears elsewhere while dribbling.”
“When you try to face him and do tackles, you know what he will do with the ball. The problem is living with him. “(Quoted from Sportsjoe)
Scholes himself has faced Messi in four matches, two in the European Champions League semi-final of the 2007/08 season, when his shot in the second leg ensured Manchester United’s victory with a 1-0 aggregate.
While the next two meetings took place in the 2008/09 Champions League final and the 2010/11 season when Barcelona won.
Even the match that took place at Old Trafford in 2008 became a moment that Scholes will never forget. Besides scoring the winning goal which is the best goal of his career, he also experienced another moment when he was able to stop Messi through a tackle. At that time, La Pulga passed him first and followed by Scholes who gave him a tackle.
“But I never forget that there is one of the best soccer players in the world that has forced me to tackle him,” said Scholes (Quoted from Independent).
Then, quoted from NBC Sports, Scholes also mentioned Messi as one of the most difficult players he ever faced. “He was very difficult to catch, it is probably a suitable term to describe how Messi’s playing style is,” Scholes wrote.
The midfielder, who wore the number of 18 on his jersey, said many stories were made to explain Messi’s career. However, as someone who has dealt with Messi directly, Scholes knows a number of things that might not be seen on television.
“First, he never speaks on the field, I have never heard him say a word,” Scholes said.
“Second, you will not believe that he is very strong for the size of a small man.” (Quoted from Independent)
So, football lovers, those are the story of Paul Scholes who was scared when competing against Messi.