Manchester United veteran Paul Scholes, who made a shock return to the game this month, admitted on Friday he missed playing more than he had anticipated after his retirement last summer.
The 37-year-old's surprise return as a substitute during the FA Cup third-round win at Manchester City came six months after his decision to quit.
He subsequently scored on his first start, against Bolton Wanderers the following weekend.
"At the end of last season, I thought it was the right time to finish," Scholes told MUTV. "But after coming in here for the last three or four months, still seeing people and doing a bit of training with the reserves, I was missing it more than I thought.
"I went to see the manager and said that I wanted to come back playing. I didn't know what he would say. I didn't know what his reaction would be. Thankfully, it was a positive one."
Scholes, denied his retirement, five months after that of long-time team-mate Gary Neville, was to get out of a lengthy pre-season tour to the United States.
"Part of it was," he said. "I didn't fancy going to America for three weeks, I know that. No, in all seriousness, I never thought I would miss it as much as I did.
"Ask any player who has finished, they will all miss it for a period of time. I missed it and decided to give it another go."
And scoring against Bolton was an added bonus.
"It was nice," he said. "I hadn't played for six months, so it was strange being on the pitch again. The first two or three days took a bit of getting used to. But I am back into it now and enjoying every day."