Alonso hails United veteran Scholes

Former Liverpool midfielder and World Cup winner Xabi Alonso has hailed Manchester United veteran Paul Scholes, revealing his admiration for the Old Trafford stalwart’s style of play.

However Alonso, 29, believes that the Red Devils' midfielder is under-appreciated by fans in England and has a greater respect in his native Spain.

“I’ve still got Paul Scholes’ shirt at home, which I swapped with him once. When I was at Liverpool he was one of the players I liked most," he reveals in the New Year 2011 issue of FourFourTwo, out now.

“Maybe he’s not valued as much as he should be in England because of the style of football there and because he keeps a low profile.

“Perhaps he would have been more valued in Spain, where midfielders like him form part of the ‘ideal’.”

After spending five years at Anfield before a switch to Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid last year, the Spanish star has fond memories of his former opponent and believes that Scholes’ talents would not have been restricted to the Premier League.

“He certainly has the talent to have adapted to Spain – or Italy, or Germany, or France," he says. "Fans in Spain rate him very highly and I admire him a huge amount.” 

Scholes was not involved as Manchester United saw off Alonso's former club Liverpool in the FA Cup Third Round on Sunday.

Ryan Giggs' early penalty settled the tie at Old Trafford, with Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard seeing red after just 32 minutes to ensure Kenny Dalglish endured an unhappy return to management having taken charge of the Anfield outfit following Roy Hodgson's departure.

The New Year 2011 issue of FourFourTwo features the world's 100 best players, FA Cup giant-killings, the Asian Cup, Shrewsbury v Hereford and interviews and insight from Ian Rush, Michel Salgado, Keisuke Honda, Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale, Diego Milito, Gonzalo Higuain, Iker Casillas, Diego Forlan, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Gerard Pique, Wesley Sneijder, Ryan Giggs, Pele, Clarence Seedorf, Wayne Rooney, Gus Poyet and Arsene Wenger.

By Paul Wentworth