Paul Scholes was born on 16th November in 1974 and as he turns 41, we here celebrate his birthday with a list of top five moments from his career at Manchester United.
21st September, 1994: A goal-scoring debut
Paul Scholes was not a member of Manchester United’ FA Cup winning youth side of 1992 that included David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville but he was a member of the team in the next season and is considered a part of the legendary “Class of 92”. A talented kid, Scholes made his senior debut in a League Cup game against Port Vale and it was a fitting start to a momentous career. The midfielder scored both goals in a 2-1 win. The first was a neat finish after a defensive error while the second was an accurate header following a trademark late run into the penalty area. Incidentally, Scholes also found the back of the net in his Premier League debut against Ipswich Town three days later. No wonder it comes as the first memorable moment of his career in our list!
22nd May, 1999: A memorable FA Cup final
Every Manchester United fan will remember the year 1999, the year which saw the Red Devils complete a treble in style. Unfortunately enough, Paul Scholes missed the Champions League final due to suspension, but he was a key to the side’s FA Cup victory a few days earlier and that moment comes second in our list.
It was a match against Newcastle United at Wembley and Manchester went ahead very early in the game, thanks to a strike from Teddy Sheringham. Paul Scholes assisted the first goal and in the second half, the man himself sealed the deal with a goal to his name. Lifting the coveted FA Cup trophy was definitely one of many memorable moments for Sir Alex Ferguson‘s side in the treble-winning campaign.
12th April, 2003: Hat-trick against Newcastle
No appreciation will be enough for Paul Scholes so far as this match and this season is concerned. It was probably his best season of the lot as he struck an incredible 20 goals in all competitions, a total that would be a fair return for a centre-forward. These bunch of 20 included a thunderous hat-trick against Newcastle United which came late in the season. Have a look at the highlights of that game below.
29 April, 2008: Scoring the winner in the UCL Semi-final
Manchester United had to get past Spanish giants in the semi-final of Champions League 2007/08 and the first leg ended in a goalless draw. And it was Paul Scholes who sent his team through to the final with a terrific strike in the second leg. In the fourteenth minute of the game, the midfielder collected a loose pass from Gianluca Zambrotta and unleashed a viciously swerving long-range shot into the top corner. Some would call it a poetic justice that the winner came from that man who had to miss the Champions League final nine years back.
17th April, 2010: Injury time winner against Manchester City
During Sir Alex Ferguson‘s days, the injury time goals were a common sight and the media and fans popularly called it the Fergie time. Another example of this came on 17th April, 2010. Scholes settled a scrappy affair when he headed Patrice Evra’s cross past Shay Given to give United a decisive injury-time goal against their arch-rivals. Although Manchester United finished an agonising point behind Chelsea in the 2009/10 Premier League seaso, that moment of magic from Paul Scholes will be remembered by every fan who knows just what it means to beat the Blues, especially on their own turf.
Paul Scholes has mesmerized the fans with his skills and goals and will always remain one of the most revered footballers ever. We wish him a very Happy Birthday.
P.S. Age doesn’t matter for Scholes. Take a look at how he nutmegged John Terry just a day before, during the warm-up of Beckham’s UNICEF charity match.