Skip to content
GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. Football
  2. Premier League

Premier League Hall of Fame: Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes is regarded as one of the finest midfielders of the Premier League era and the Manchester United star, who won 11 league titles, was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2022.

Paul Scholes Profile:

NamePaul Scholes
Date of Birth16/11/1974
Place of BirthSalford, Greater Manchester
Premier League clubsManchester United
Premier League appearances499
Premier League goals107
Premier League assists55
Premier League titles11

The making of Paul Scholes

Salford-born Scholes joined Manchester United's youth academy at the age of 14. He was part of the legendary 'Class of '92' – a group of young talents, including David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville and Phil Neville who came through the ranks and went on to enjoy enormous success at Old Trafford.

Scholes signed his first professional contract with United in 1993 and scored twice on his debut in a League Cup tie against Port Vale in September 1994.

The midfielder found the net again on his Premier League debut against Ipswich, scoring the first of 107 league goals for the Red Devils.

Scholes became a more regular starter in 1995/96, often playing up front alongside Andy Cole, and he scored 10 league goals to help United pip Kevin Keegan's Newcastle to the title.

He found his home in central midfield in 1997/98 after Roy Keane was sidelined by a serious knee injury, and by 1998/99 he was part of an iconic midfield line-up featuring Giggs, Keane and Beckham.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side won a famous Treble of trophies that season. Scholes, like Keane, was suspended for the dramatic Champions League final victory against Bayern Munich but he scored United's second goal in their 2-0 win over Newcastle in the FA Cup final.

A central figure in United's decade of dominance

United's appetite for silverware was not sated by their 1999 Treble and Scholes went on to win eight more Premier League titles with the Red Devils after the turn of the century.

He scored his first hat-trick in a 7-1 rout of West Ham in 2000 and claimed six goals in the 2000/01 Champions League, just one fewer than Golden Boot winner Raul of Real Madrid.

Scholes's best Premier League season in terms of goals came in 2002/03, when he struck 14 times in yet another title triumph, and around that time Zinedine Zidane declared that the United man was "the greatest midfielder of his generation".

Scholes scored 14 times in 66 appearances for England but was often played out of position at international level with Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard preferred in central midfield.

For United, however, he remained a key player throughout the 2000s, making his 500th appearance for the club in a win over Liverpool in October 2006, and helping nurture young stars such as Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Scholes was named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2006/07 and the following season he scored the only goal as United beat Barcelona 1-0 on aggregate in the Champions League semi-finals.

The Red Devils went on to win the final on penalties against Chelsea and Scholes continued to amass a plethora of accolades and honours, reaching 100 Premier League goals in March 2010 and winning the Player of the Month award in August that year.

Scholes, an enthusiastic but often reckless tackler, was sent off in the 2010/11 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City and announced his retirement at the end of the season, although he was lured back during an injury crisis for United in January 2012.

He played on until May 2013, by which time he had made 499 league appearances for his boyhood club and scored in 19 consecutive Premier League seasons.

Style of play:

Scholes broke into the United first team as a striker and his top-class finishing was a hallmark of his career, even after dropping back into midfield.

His partnership with Keane gave him licence to burst into the box and get on the end of crosses but he also had the technical ability and range of passing to flourish in a deeper playmaker role.

Scholes's century of Premier League goals included some stunning long-range efforts, including a glorious volley against Bradford in March 2000.

He never shirked a challenge during United's legendary Premier League battles with Arsene Wenger's Arsenal, and his versatility, quality and consistency over two decades at the highest level earned him the admiration of his peers. 

Zidane, Xavi, Patrick Vieira and Andrea Pirlo were among the superstars who rated him as one of their toughest opponents.

Life after football:

After the end of his 20-year playing career, Scholes worked as a pundit for BT Sport and in 2014 he was part of a consortium, along with Butt, Giggs and the Neville brothers, who bought Salford City.

He had a brief spell as a coach at Old Trafford towards the end of the 2013/14 season and also had short managerial stints at Oldham in 2019 and Salford in 2020.

Did you know?

As well as scoring 107 goals and claiming 55 assists, Scholes finished his Premier League career with 97 yellow cards – only Gareth Barry, Wayne Rooney, Lee Bowyer and Kevin Davies have picked up more bookings in the division.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.