Wayne Rooney has described retiring Manchester United great Paul Scholes as the best player he had ever played with.
Scholes announced his retirement on Tuesday at the age of 36 after 676 appearances United, with the former England midfielder to take up a coaching position at Old Trafford.
Rooney said it had been a privilege to play alongside Scholes, hailing him the best he had worked with.
“He’ll be missed greatly. I just heard the news this morning,” Rooney told talkSPORT.
“We knew he’d make a decision but didn’t think it would be this quick. We’re all sad to see him stop playing.”
“He’s been great for United and England and he’ll be missed by all of us.”
“He hasn’t started that many games of late and I’m sure that’s come into his head and he’s made his decision.”
“But he’ll be a big miss for us. He’s the best I’ve played with and against.”
“He’s only small but it’s so difficult to get the ball off him. Every United fan will miss him.”
Scholes’ former Manchester United teammate Nicky Butt, who with Scholes, David Beckham and the recently retired Gary Neville formed United’s famous class of ’92, said his former team-mate would go down as one of the greatest players to pull on a United shirt.
“If you pick an XI for the greats of Manchester United from my era, Paul Scholes will definitely be in that,” Butt said.
“But I think he is up there with the top three or four players to have played for the club.”
“If you look at the different eras, you have got Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best, Denis Law, then you have the Roy Keanes, Bryan Robsons, Mark Hugheses, and more recently Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Scholes.”
“People from different eras will have different opinions but everyone from my era would put Scholes up there with the best that have played for United.”
“He was always a dirty little git. He was always kicking people and sliding in 10 minutes late but he always had a cheeky side to him so I do not think anyone speaks badly about him.”
“On the training pitch, and in the changing room, he got his job done and went home to his family and that has always been the case with him. But, when he was on the pitch, he gave it 100 percent and he was a pleasure to watch every day in training.”