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Ferdinand glad to see greats return
Published : 17 Jan 2012 15:46:37
Rio Ferdinand is delighted two of his top five Barclays Premier League players are treading the boards on the biggest stage once more.
After making his mark on a second debut for Arsenal, Thierry Henry was followed onto the goalscoring chart by Paul Scholes on Saturday when the veteran midfielder set Manchester United on their way to victory over Bolton.
On Sunday, the pair will go head to head at the Emirates, as United head to Arsenal knowing they cannot afford to slip any further behind title favourites Manchester City and Ferdinand said: "It is great to see two of the best players come back."
He added: "If I was going to name a top-five list of players to have played in the Premier League, Scholes and Henry would be in there. It's fantastic for Arsenal, of course, just as it is for us to have Scholes back. Hopefully he's going to help us get over the line and win another couple of trophies."
Sir Alex Ferguson reintroduced Scholes to his squad for the FA Cup tie against City without informing any of his playing staff. Ferdinand did try to unearth the information, but, typically, Scholes was not forthcoming with any details.
"I spoke to Scholesy a few weeks beforehand and asked him if he was coming back but he doesn't give anything away," he said. "When he met up with the squad the day before the City game, I asked him again if he was in the squad but he said he was coming to watch as part of the staff.
"I had an inkling he might be back though because he trained the day before with us but it wasn't until the kit man told me before the game that he had brought his gear that I knew for certain."
Scholes' return has been greeted with mixed feelings, with some arguing it is a regressive step for a club trying to win a record 20th title. The 37-year-old's two performances so far have been patchy, although he retains a calmness in possession that Ferdinand does not feel many could exude after six months out of the game.
"There are only a handful of players on the planet who could do it," said Ferdinand.
"Iniesta, Xavi, Messi. They are the type of players who can come in at any time and look as though they could just play football at the drop of a hat at the top level. The game is so natural to them."