France legend Zinedine Zidane has admitted that one of his biggest regrets in football is not playing alongside Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes.
Scholes, 35, has been rolling back the years with a string of majestic performances for United over the last two seasons, attracting many plaudits for his vintage displays, with Zidane among them.
Sir Alex Ferguson had the chance to bring Zizou from Bordeaux to Old Trafford in 1996 but chose to follow Blackburn's lead in passing on the chance to bring the Frenchman to England, paving the way for Zidane to move to Italian giants Juventus.
The rest, as they say, is history but Zidane still regrets not being able to play with a player he considers to be one of the best of his generation.
“It’s only natural to want to select your best players and there is no doubt for me that Paul Scholes is still in a class of his own,” Zidane said in the Daily Mirror.
“He’s almost untouchable in what he does. I never tire of watching him play. You rarely come across the complete footballer, but Scholes is as close to it as you can get.
“One of my regrets is that the opportunity to play alongside him never presented itself during my career.”
Zidane, now 38, recalls Scholes as being one of the toughest opponents he ever faced during a glittering career that took in three Champions League titles to rank alongside his 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championships crown.
“He was an extremely tough opponent to play against," Zizou continued. "You didn’t get any time on the ball when he was around. He would close you down and make your life terribly uncomfortable.
“He is the type of player you want on your side, not in opposition because he could do so much damage.
“He is very gifted. He makes the game look easy because he’s so much natural ability.”
Considering Scholes emerged at Old Trafford as a striker back in 1994, the comments coming from arguably the best midfielder of the 1990's comes as high praise indeed.
By James Martinicomments