Whilst all the media and public attention was on Sir Alex Ferguson, and rightly so, another departing Manchester United legend was more than happy to ‘slip out under the radar’.
For the shy, retiring Paul Scholes, playing second fiddle to the man of the moment was the perfect scenario. It is just what he would have wanted. Just the way he would have chosen to bow out.
Midfield maestro Scholes, one of the Premier League’s finest, said as much in a somewhat bizarre – albeit amusing – interview with former colleague Gary Neville prior to the curtain coming down.
Clearly uncomfortable being quizzed by a pal of many years, Scholes admitted the timing of Sir Alex’s retirement announcement could not have been better.
He also joked, with a little tongue in cheek, I’m sure, that Wayne Rooney’s transfer request had done him a massive personal favour also.
Scholes just didn’t want any fuss, no fanfares and a relatively quiet exit from the scene of so many great triumphs during a career surpassed by only a few. If any.
Even when it came to the moment, as he was substituted late on, to take his bow his departure was swift, under-stated and typical of the man for whom the club, not the individual, came first.
His post-match interview summed Scholes up a treat. “It has been a good day, the team has won and that is the most important thing,” he said in attempt to deflect attention once again. “It has not been the season I wanted, but the team has won the title and that is all that matters.”
Just as there will never be another Sir Alex Ferguson, it’s a fair bet we will never see another Paul Scholes.
A devoted one club man; a consummate professional and a player whose modesty and humble nature are only matched by his footablling genius.