If you somehow weren’t aware of how good a footballer Paul Scholes was in his pomp, then listen to Kieron Dyer .
Dyer, writing in his new autobiography which is being serialised in the Daily Mail , says he rated Scholes as the best English midfielder of his generation – ahead of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard – and recounted a brilliant story which perfectly encapsulated his genius.
Scholes, who won every major honour in the game with Manchster United, won 66 caps for England but was often played out of position and quit international football at the age of just 29.
“ Paul Scholes was the best player I played with and people like Xavi and Zinedine Zidane counted him as their favourite player,” wrote Dyer, the former Ipswich, Newcastle and West Ham ace, who played 33 times for his country.
“Other nations would have used him as their fulcrum but Sven Goran Eriksson’s first-choice midfield was always David Beckham on the right, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard in the centre and Scholes on the left.
“We didn’t have a football culture that appreciated him. So we wasted him by putting him on the left and banished him to the margins. It was disrespectful, one of the biggest crimes ever.
“When you talk about Gerrard, Lampard and Scholes, Scholes was the best of the three and yet he was asked to give way.
“He was the absolute master of one touch in training. One day he scored three or four goals — and I’m not talking tap-ins. I’m talking 25-yarders-lodging-in-the-stanchion-type goals. When the session was over, the rest of the England players formed a guard of honour and clapped him off the pitch. I’d never seen that before and I never saw it again.”