Paul Scholes retires

Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has confirmed his retirement for a second time.

Paul Scholes retires for second time

Paul Scholes Credit: PA

Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has confirmed his retirement for a second time.

The former England midfielder initially quit in 2011 but was persuaded to return for Manchester United in January last year.

However, the 38-year-old, who is expected to make his first appearance since January in tomorrow's Barclays Premier League encounter with Swansea, feels it is time to bow out.

"Yes I am finally hanging up my boots for good," he said.

"Playing football is all I have ever wanted to do and to have had such a long and successful career at Manchester United, under the greatest manager of all time, has been an honour."

Given how much affection Scholes is held in by Sir Alex Ferguson, it is fitting both bow out at the same time.

Regarded by team-mates and opponents alike as one of the finest players of his generation, the 38 year old will be making his 498th Premier League appearance for United tomorrow, meaning he will fall just short of the magical 500.

In total, he has made 716 appearances for the Red Devils and scored the last of his 155 goals against FA Cup finalists Wigan last September.

Many will argue his decision to turn his back on England at the criminally early age of 29 robbed the Three Lions of the most talented player at their disposal.

Fabio Capello thought so, hence his decision to try to coax Scholes out of retirement ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

Scholes eventually opted against, although he latter admitted he regretted the decision.

"Paul is a truly unbelievable player," said Ferguson.

"He has always been fully committed to this club and it has been a real privilege to work with him for so many years.