Paul Scholes' 7 Greatest Moments at Manchester United

Max TowleAnalyst IJune 7, 2013

Paul Scholes' 7 Greatest Moments at Manchester United

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    Paul Scholes' retirement this summer was a little overshadowed by Sir Alex Ferguson bidding the game farewell too.

    But this is exactly what the Manchester United veteran would have wanted—to be as far away from the spotlight as possible.

    He is an unquestioned legend of the club, a player universally admired by both teammates and opponents.

    France great Zinedine Zidane once described him as the "complete footballer." "One of my regrets is that the opportunity to play alongside him never presented itself during my career," he said, according to the Daily Mail.

    Scholes made over 700 total appearances for the Red Devils in his career, scoring over 150 goals.

    Here are his seven best moments in the red shirt.

A Goal-Scoring Debut, 1994

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    Paul Scholes was one of a batch of highly rated youngsters making their way up the ladder at Old Trafford in the early 1990s.

    He made his debut in a League Cup game against Port Vale, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win.

    The first was a neat finish after a defensive error. The second was an accurate header following a trademark late run into the penalty area.

    Scholes also found the back of the net in his Premier League debut against Ipswich Town three days later, and finished with seven goals in his first campaign in the United first team.

    The stage was set for a momentous career. 

Scoring in the 1999 FA Cup Final, 1999

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    Paul Scholes missed United's famous comeback win in the 1999 Champions League final due to suspension, but was key to the side's FA Cup victory days earlier.

    The Red Devils beat Newcastle United 2-0 at Wembley thanks to strikes from Teddy Sheringham (ably assisted by Scholes) and the Ginger Wizard himself.

    Lifting the trophy was one of many memorable moments for Sir Alex Ferguson's side in the treble-winning campaign.

    That season, Scholes made 51 appearances in all competitions—a career high.

    Just a shame he wasn't able to compete with his teammates against Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou. 

Stunning Volley No. 1 vs. Bradford, 2000

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    Scholes was known for being able to hit rasping shots from distance.

    One of the most memorable goals in Premier League history was his howitzer against Bradford in 2000.

    David Beckham played a corner kick straight to Scholes on the edge of the penalty area, who proceeded to strike a technically perfect volley into the bottom corner.

    His look of sheer delight immediately after the net bulged was one to savour.

    As you'll soon discover, though, he wasn't done hitting pearlers in his career.

Hits 20 in the 2002/03 Season

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    Paul Scholes' best season was probably the 2002/03 campaign.

    He struck an incredible 20 goals in all competitions, a total that would be a fair return for a centre-forward.

    He was in stunning form as Manchester United claimed domestic glory, having been pipped to the post by Arsenal the year before.

    Scholes' greatest game that season was in a 6-2 victory over Newcastle at St. James' Park in which he scored a terrific hat-trick.

    It solidified his place as one of the premier goal-scoring midfielders in Britain. 

Stunning Volley No. 2 vs. Aston Villa, 2006

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    Trying to outdo his effort against Bradford years earlier, Scholes hit another beauty against Aston Villa in late 2006.

    The game itself was a routine 3-0 win for the Red Devils in a congested mid-winter period, but it was Scholes' strike that goes down in club folklore.

    Ryan Giggs' corner was headed out to the edge of the penalty area by a Villa defender, before Scholes popped up to rifle home a shot that cannoned in off the underside of the crossbar.

    The reaction of his teammates and coaches tells you just how impressive it was.

    After three years of seeing either Arsenal or Chelsea triumph, the Red Devils finally won the Premier League trophy back in the 2006/07 season. 

Stunning Volley No. 3 vs. Barcelona, 2009

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    In 2008, Manchester United were the best side in football.

    The club won the Premier League and Champions League double, backed by the 42 goals struck by Cristiano Ronaldo.

    The Red Devils had to get past Barcelona in the semis of the UCL, and did so thanks to a picture-perfect Paul Scholes goal in the second leg.

    The out-swinging half-volley left Victor Valdes with no chance, nestling in the top corner of the Barca keeper's net.

    United's 1-0 win marked the last time the club could truly consider themselves the No. 1 team in the game. 

Late Winner vs. Manchester City, 2010

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    Manchester United finished an agonising point behind Chelsea in the 2009/10 Premier League season.

    The Red Devils produced a moment of pure magic late in the season, though, triumphing 1-0 at rivals Manchester City in April.

    It was Paul Scholes who headed home a 93rd minute winner to send the United fans into delirium.

    His celebration was a joyous reaction from a man who knows just what it means to beat the Blues, especially on their own turf.

    He has had many, many more memorable moments playing for Sir Alex's side. It's just a shame he won't be able to score any more crackers.

    What other great Paul Scholes moments come to mind?

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