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Capello call came too late ó Scholes

Date online: 07 June 2010


PAUL Scholes has admitted he could have been lining up for England in the World Cup — if he was asked earlier.

The Manchester United midfielder, who quit the international scene six years ago, received a telephone call from Fabio Capello last month.

The Italian asked the life-long Athletic fan to make himself available for selection for this summer’s tournament in South Africa but the request was politely rejected.

Talking exclusively to the Chronicle, Scholes (35) said: “It’s a big decision and I wasn’t really given enough time to think about it, so I decided not to take up the offer.

“If they’d asked me earlier I probably would have accepted.

“There are players in the squad who have spent nearly two years flying all around the world helping England qualify for the World Cup, whereas I haven’t been involved for a long time.

“It wasn’t a case of wanting to go on holiday, it was the fact that I got the call so close to the tournament, and also I didn’t want to take the place of someone who helped get England to South Africa.

“The idea just didn’t sit comfortably with me.”

Scholes, a one club man, has made more than 600 appearances for the Red Devils.

He represented his country with distinction between 1997 and 2004, participating in two World Cups and two European Championships.

Scholes announced his retirement from international football in August 2004, stating his desire to prolong his club career and spend more time with his family.

But he was also known to be unhappy at being played out of position by Sven-Goran Eriksson.

He watched on in despair at reports of his United team-mate Rio Ferdinand being ruled out of the competition with a knee injury.

“I really feel for Rio, especially getting hurt so close to the start of the action,” said Scholes, who was speaking at the opening of Chadderton Park FC’s new changing rooms (see Page 5).

“It’s not just sad for Rio but for England as well, because he is captain and an important figure.”


Sadly your lose Scholes and Capello to, it would have been nice to see you playing in the world cup for England.Paul Scholes if i was in your place i would have acceptted the offer to go to the world cup.

Oh when you going to play for oldham i guess we never see that day if am honest.

I think we would have had a much stronger squad had paul decided to make himself available. We do not have a player that can replicate paul's game. He can shut an opposition midfield down and can hit a ball from outside the area too! I can understand why he turned the chance down though.

Nice to see a pro footballer with a bit of integrity. Maybe Capello should have called a lot sooner, but perhaps he felt Scholes would not have been available for qualifying games?

Maybe Scholes has in fact cost himself and England given the loss of Beckham and Ferdinand. Is it too late for him to fly out?

It is disappointing that a footballer needs time to make a decision to play for his country. It was every boys dream, a few years ago anyway, and would do so for the honour not the money or impact on career.

Let's not forget the reason for his quitting was to extend his club career which he has done to great effect.

Although Scholes quit a bit early I don't think he is good enough now and the 'fringe players' he talks about deserve their places.

Rio missing is a good thing.

Come on ENGLAND!!

Contrast the views of Paul Scholes '.... I didn't want to take the place of someone who helped England get to South Africa' and those of Jamie Carragher.

I'm sure Scholes recognises how he would have felt had he been the one to lose his World Cup place in such circumstances. It clearly doesn't trouble Carragher.

Good job no one asked him to fight in Afghanistan! When your country calls there are no excuses.

Hi Paul, This is Amit from India. Would have loved to see you in the World Cup for a last dash. And i was quite angry and dejected seeing you not accepting Capello's offer. But after this report in the Oldham news, I am full of respect for you and your opinions. I consider you as a true icon not just on the field, but off the field as well. Best wishes and keep going on! Cheers.


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