The 15 Greatest Goals from Paul Scholes' Manchester United Career
Paul Scholes made a career out of scoring spectacular goals.
After starting out as a striker in Manchester United's academy, he became one of the best central midfielders in the world during 20 years in the first team at Old Trafford.
To celebrate his 40th birthday, here's a rundown of his best 15 goals for club and country. Feel free to use the comments section below to add your own favourites.
V Manchester City (April 2010)
The Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium at the end of the 2009/10 season was heading for a goalless draw. But that was until Scholes ghosted into the box in the 93rd minute to head Patrice Evra's cross past Shay Given.
The goal kept United in the hunt for the Premier League trophy, although they were ultimately pipped by Chelsea.
V Newcastle (May 1999)
Scholes lined up against Newcastle in the 1999 FA Cup final knowing he would miss the Champions League final four days later through suspension. But he still got to play his part in the treble triumph. Running onto Teddy Sheringham's lay-off in the second half, he drilled a left-foot shot into the net to put United 2-0 up and secure the second part of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.
V Panathinaikos (November 2000)
Scholes' goal against Panathinaikos in the Champions League in 2000 was primarily a team goal, coming at the end of a 32-pass move. But the finish, a chip over the goalkeeper from the edge of the box, was also special. It was a moment of quality from Scholes to finish a perfectly crafted move.
V Inter Milan (April 1999)
United won the first leg of their 1999 Champions League quarter-final with Inter Milan thanks to two goals from Dwight Yorke at Old Trafford. But the pressure was starting to mount in the second leg after Nicola Ventola pulled one back for Inter. United were hanging on until Scholes came off the bench to score two minutes from time and send United through to the semi-final.
V Chelsea (September 2000)
With Chelsea 1-0 up at Old Trafford, David Beckham worked a short corner to Gary Neville. His cross was cleared but only as far as Scholes, who lashed a shot beyond Carlo Cudicini. It pulled United level in a game that eventually ended 3-3—Chelsea coming from 3-1 down to earn a point against the champions.
V Tunisia (June 1998)
This is one of Scholes' best goals for England. Glenn Hoddle's side were 1-0 up against Tunisia in their opening group game of the 1998 World Cup in France. But any fears of a nervous finish were ended by Scholes, who picked up the ball on the edge of the box, rode one challenge, and guided a right-footed shot into the top corner.
V Newcastle (April 2003)
Scholes' hat-trick against Newcastle in April 2003 helped United leave St James' Park with a 6-2 win. First, he ran onto Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's flick over the Newcastle defenders to volley past Shay Given. Next, he stepped onto Wes Brown's lay-off on the edge of the box to rifle a shot into the roof of the net, before getting his third in the second half, tapping in a Gary Neville cross at the back post.
V Liverpool (September 1998)
Denis Irwin's first-half penalty gave United the lead against Liverpool at Old Trafford at the start of the treble season. With Liverpool pushing for an equaliser, United broke quickly and Andy Cole crossed for Scholes to lash a left-footed shot into the top corner of Brad Friedel's net to put the result beyond any doubt.
V Blackburn (March 2007)
Blackburn were 1-0 up at Old Trafford in March 2007 thanks to Matt Derbyshire's first-half goal. That's how it stayed until Scholes picked up the ball on the edge of the box just past the hour mark, danced around three challenges and slotted his finish past Brad Friedel. It helped United completely turn the game around, and they eventually ran out 4-1 winners.
V Middlesbrough (April 2000)
Against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium in April 2000, Gary Neville's pass to Scholes 35 yards from goal looked fairly innocuous. But that was until Scholes smashed it first time into the top corner. It put United 3-1 up, and they eventually won 4-3.
V Everton (October 2002)
When the ball broke loose in midfield, Scholes took two touches out of his feet and fired a right-footed piledriver into the top corner of Richard Wright's net off the underside of the crossbar. It was the highlight of United's 3-0 over Everton in October 2002.
V New York Cosmos (August 2011)
United's pre-season game with New York Cosmos in 2011 was Scholes' testimonial, meant as a celebration of his career. And he capped it in the most fitting way, receiving a short corner and smashing a 25-yard drive into the net. The fans turned up to support Scholes, and they were repaid with a goal of the highest quality.
V Barcelona (April 2008)
Perhaps the most important goal Scholes ever scored for United. After the first leg of the 2008 Champions League semi-final with Barcelona ended goalless, United needed to win the second leg at Old Trafford. And it was Scholes' goal that was the difference between the two teams, picking up a loose clearance to smash a shot past Victor Valdes from 30 yards.
United went on to win the trophy, beating Chelsea on penalties in the final.
V Bradford (March 2000)
A perfectly executed training-ground routine. United were already 2-0 up against Bradford in March 2000 when David Beckham sent a corner toward the edge of the box. There waiting was Scholes, who drilled a right-footed volley into the corner. Beckham got himself on the scoresheet a few minutes later to wrap up a 4-0 win.
V Aston Villa (December 2006)
One of Scholes' best. Aston Villa midfielder Gavin McCann probably thought he'd done a good job of clearing Ryan Giggs' corner until it fell to Scholes. Without breaking stride, he smashed a 30-yard volley off the underside of bar to help United to a 3-0 win at Villa Park.