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Manchester United Midfielder Paul Scholes: I Never Got England Call

Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has said England boss Roy Hodgson never offered him the chance to return to international football. Paul Scholes would have made a shock comeback for England in the European Championship this summer, if he had been asked.  Many people were calling for Scholes to return for England at the tournament, with midfielders Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard both absent due to injury. However, Scholes has revealed that he did not receive a request to come out of international retirement by Hodgson. Speaking on United’s pre-season tour of South Africa and China, 37-year-old Scholes said the absence of communication from the national team meant he had no decision to make. Scholes called time on his stellar career following the 2011 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona at Wembley, but returned six months later and had such a positive impact that it was suggested he might earn a shock call-up to Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad, eight years after his last international.

Images From telegraph.co.uk
Images From telegraph.co.uk

The 37-year-old said: “I wasn’t offered the chance. It was flattering to be talked about. But I wasn’t asked so it means nothing.” Scholes has since signed on for another season at Old Trafford, which Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson does expect to be the former England midfielder’s last, and needed little persuasion. However, Hodgson decided against trying to lure the midfielder out of international retirement on two counts: he thought Scholes’s priority would have been extending his United career and he did not want to risk rejection by the Old Trafford veteran.He signed a one-year deal with United in May, extending another chapter to his career at the Old Trafford club 18 years after he made his debut for them. He returned from self-imposed retirement last January when United were struggling with injuries in midfield. Yet the desire for his return was mutual.

‘I was itching to play again,’ he said.’I was all right for the first couple of months after retiring and didn’t really miss anything. If I’d stayed away from the reserves and the club I’d probably have been OK. But every day that I was going in I just wanted to train and be involved.’ His return to the United midfield was not enough to prevent rivals Manchester City claiming the Premier League title on a dramatic final day of the campaign, a scenario that he said persuaded him to continue his playing for a further year.  “It’s always a motivating force when you lose the league,” he explained from his side’s pre-season tour of South Africa. “It’s not nice to see another team celebrate winning the title on the last day of the season. That picture stays with you.” He continued ‘But we have to look to next year, and if we’re in the same position we’ll have to make sure we finish the job.’