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08th Jul 2018

Paul Scholes explains how one moment against Gareth Bale convinced him to retire

Simon Lloyd

“I thought, ‘that’s game over'”

Paul Scholes is undoubtedly a Manchester United legend.

Having graduated from the club’s academy as part of the Class of ’92, he was a mainstay in the United team for the best part of two decades, helping the team win pretty much every trophy available to them.

Having originally called time on his playing days in 2011, he came out of retirement the following January and went on to play the remainder of that season before retiring for a second and final time at the end of the 2012/13 season.

Appearing as a pundit on beIN SPORTS recently, Scholes discussed his retirement(s) with Richard Keys, admitting that the decision to continue playing beyond the end of the 2011/2012 was a mistake, as he realised after an encounter with Gareth Bale.

“I think the mistake I did make – I played for the rest of that season – I shouldn’t have gone on again,” he said. “The season after that, I was done then.

“I remember playing a game against Tottenham in the third or fourth game.

“I played alright, but I remember Gareth Bale running at me and I thought, ‘that’s game over’.”

Keys pointed out that Scholes wouldn’t be the first soon-for-retirement player to go through such an experience.

“I was even too slow to kick him,” Scholes adds. “That was the problem.”

Bale scored in the game Scholes is referring to, helping Spurs to a 3-2 win at Old Trafford. It wasn’t enough to stop United winning the league for the 20th time later that season.