Paul Scholes' second retirement, announced whilst all the attention was on Wigan Athletic's magical FA Cup win, was typical of the man. In his statement, he said "playing football is all I have ever wanted to do", which he stated when he first retired in 2011. The Manchester United legend is a man of few words and a player of many qualities.

On Sunday, he will play for the first time in over three months. Scholes' return for the January 2012 for the FA Cup third-round tie with Manchester City was embarrassing for a United squad whose midfield featured Rafael da Silva and Ji-Sung Park eight days previously. Yet had United gone on to win a 20th title a year earlier than they did, few could argue against Scholes from winning the club's player of the year award. Back in the red shirt of United, he was soon back in the groove of dictating football matches.

Even this season, however much he struggled at Aston Villa or against Newcastle on Boxing Day, his introduction away at Southampton and Liverpool in September helped United to two comeback wins.

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Scholes celebrates what may be his last United goal against Wigan

So ahead of the greatest English footballer of his generation's last two games, here's praise for Scholes from football's genuine greats, past and present...

"Good enough to play for Brazil. I love to watch Scholes, to see him pass, the boy with the red hair and the red shirt." Socrates

"My toughest opponent? Scholes of Manchester. He is the complete midfielder. Scholes is undoubtedly the greatest midfielder of his generation." Zinedine Zidane

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"There isn't a player of his mould anywhere in the world." Glenn Hoddle

"He is the one whose level I aspire to." Cesc Fàbregas

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"I tell anyone who asks me – Scholes is the best English player." Laurent Blanc

"An amazingly gifted player who remained an unaffected human being." Roy Keane

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"He is simply the best." George Best

"I'm starstruck when I see Scholes because you never see him. On the pitch you can't catch him, off the pitch he disappears." Luis Figo

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"Paul Scholes would have been one of my first choices for putting together a great team – that goes to show how highly I have always rated him. An all-round midfielder who possesses quality and character in abundance." Marcello Lippi

"I admire him a huge amount. To me, he is a role model." Xabi Alonso

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"His technique is unique." Diego Maradona

"I want to pass like him. Who taught him how to do that?" Ronaldinho

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"The best English player? Paul Scholes." Juan Sebastian Verón

"He's an inspiration." Lionel Messi

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"The best player I've played with or against." Wayne Rooney

"If he was playing with me, I would have scored so many more." Pelé

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"He makes most things happen on the field." Andriy Shevchenko

"Even when I'm playing with Real Madrid, the players always say to me 'what's he like?'" David Beckham

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"One of the best in the world. Manchester United are lucky to have him." José Mourinho

"He is the best I've played with. He is amazing." Cristiano Ronaldo

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"He is the best midfielder of his generation. I would have loved to have played alongside him." Pep Guardiola

"He is my favourite player." Thierry Henry

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"He is the most consistent and naturally gifted player we've had for a long, long time." Alan Shearer

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"Many great players have worn the shirt of Manchester United. Players I worshipped, then lost with my youth in Munich. Players like Denis Law and George Best who I enjoyed so much as team-mates and now, finally, players I have watched closely in the Alex Ferguson era. And in so many ways Scholes is my favourite." Sir Bobby Charlton

"I'm not the best, Paul Scholes is." Edgar Davids

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"The best player of his generation." Rio Ferdinand

"In the last 15 to 20 years the best central midfielder that I have seen — the most complete — is Scholes. I have spoken with Xabi Alonso about this many times. Scholes is a spectacular player who has everything." Xavi

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  • Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates his goal

    25 Jan 1997: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates his goal during the FA cup fourth round tie between Manchester United and Wimbledon at Old Traford in Manchester. \ Mandatory Credit: Ben Radford /Allsport

  • David Beckham and Paul Scholes of Manchester United

    28 Mar 1998: David Beckham and Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrate during the FA Carling Premiership match against Wimbledon at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. United won 2-0. \ Mandatory Credit: Mark Thompson /Allsport

  • Paul Scholes

    11 Aug 1999: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates his goal with team-mate David Beckham during the FA Carling Premiership match against Sheffield Wednesday played at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. The match finished in a comprehensive 4-0win to Manchester United. \ Mandatory Credit: Shaun Botterill /Allsport

  • Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs of Man Utd

    25 Aug 1999: Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs of Manchester United celebrate the first goal during the match between Coventry City and Manchester United in the FA Carling Premiership at Highfield Road, Coventry. Manchester United won the game 2-1. \ MandatoryCredit: Phil Cole /Allsport

  • Paul Scholes

    8 Dec 1999: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates a goal during the Champions League game against Valencia at Old Trafford, Manchester, England. Manchester United won 3 - 0. \ Mandatory Credit: Michael Steele /Allsport

  • Paul Scholes

    25 Mar 2000: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates after scoring in the FA Carling Premiership match against Bradford City at Valley Parade in Bradford, England. Manchester United won the match 4-0. \ Mandatory Credit: Michael Steele/Allsport

  • Paul Scholes

    1 Apr 2000: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates his goal against West Ham United during the FA Carling Premiership match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. Manchester United won 7-1. \ Mandatory Credit: Michael Steele /Allsport

  • Paul Scholes

    9 Sep 2000: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates during the FA Carling Premiership match against Sunderland played at Old Trafford, in Manchester, England. Manchester United won the match 3-0. \ Mandatory Credit: Phil Cole /Allsport

  • Man Utd v Panathinaikos x

    7 Mar 2001: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring with Roy Keane during the match between Panathinaikos and Manchester United in Group A of the UEFA Champions League at the Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece. Digital Image. Mandatory Credit:Laurence Griffiths/ALLSPORT

  • Paul Scholes

    25 Sep 2001: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League match against Deportivo La Coruna played at the Estadio de Riazor in La Coruna, Spain. \ Mandatory Credit: Shaun Botterill /Allsport

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes (R) celebrates af

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Manchester United's Paul Scholes (R) celebrates after scoring the opening goal while Arsenal's French Robert Pires (L) looks on during the Premier League match at Highbury in London 25 November 2001. AFP PHOTO Adrian DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Man Utd v Newcastle X

    2 Jan 2002: Paul Scholes of Man Utd celebrates with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after scoring the third goal during the Manchester United v Newcastle United FA Barclaycard Premiership match at Old Trafford, Manchester. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

  • Leeds v Man Utd X

    30 Mar 2002: Paul Scholes of United celebrates scoring with team mate Roy Keane during the Leeds United v Manchester United FA Barclaycard Premiership game at Elland Road in Leeds. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

  • Chelsea v Man U X

    20 Apr 2002: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the first goal during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, London. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Ben Radford/Getty Images

  • Paul Scholes cele scoring first

    LONDON - SEPTEMBER 28: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the equilizer during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Charlton Athletic and Manchester United at The Valley in London on September 28, 2002. (Photo By Phil Cole/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes celebrates after

    MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM: Manchester United's Paul Scholes celebrates after scoring his team's 1st goal against Newcastle City during their Premiership clash at Old Trafford in Manchester 23 November 2002. AFP photo by Paul Barker (Photo credit should read PAUL BARKER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes celebrates with R

    MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM: Manchester United's Paul Scholes celebrates with Ryan Giggs after making it 2-nil against Arsenal during their Premiership clash at Old Trafford in Manchester 07 December 2002. AFP PHOTO/PAUL BARKER (Photo credit should read PAUL BARKER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Scholes celebrates the winning goal

    MANCHESTER - JANUARY 1: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates after scoring the winning goal during the Manchester United v Sunderland FA Barclaycard Premiership match played at Old Trafford in Manchester, England on January 1, 2003. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

  • Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the equalising goal

    BLACKBURN - JANUARY 22: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the equalising goal during the Worthington Cup semi-final second leg match between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United held on January 22, 2003 at Ewood Park, in Blackburn, England. Manchester United won the match 3-1, winning the tie 4-2 on aggregate. (Photo by Gary M. Prior/Getty Images)

  • Paul Scholes of Manchester United Celebrates First Goal

    NEWCASTLE - APRIL 12: Paul Scholes of Manchester United turns to celebrate his first goal against Newcastle United during FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James' Park in Newcastle, England on April 12, 2003. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates

    MANCHESTER - APRIL 19: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers held on April 19, 2003 at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. Manchester United won the match 3-1. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

  • Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal of the match with team-mate Ruud van Nistelrooy

    LONDON - APRIL 27: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal of the match with team-mate Ruud van Nistelrooy during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United held on April 27, 2003 at White Hart Lane, in London. Manchester United won the match 2-0. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

  • Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal of the match

    LONDON - APRIL 27: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal of the match during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United held on April 27, 2003 at White Hart Lane, in London. Manchester United won the match 2-0. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes celebra

    Manchester United's Paul Scholes celebrates after scoring to make it 2-0 against Birmingham City during today's Barclaycard Premiership clash at Old Trafford, 04 October 2003. AFP PHOTO/ Paul BARKER (Photo credit should read PAUL BARKER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes celebra

    MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM: Manchester United's Paul Scholes celebrates after scoring the opening goal to make it 1-nil against Manchester City during today's Premiership clash at Old Trafford in Manchester 13 December 2003. AFP PHOTO PAUL BARKER (Photo credit should read PAUL BARKER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United v Manchester City

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 13: Paul Scholes of Man Utd celebrates with Ruud Van Nistelrooy after scoring the third goal during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on December 13, 2003 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes (L) cel

    MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM: Manchester United's Paul Scholes (L) celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal to make it 3-1 against Manchester City during today's Premiership clash at Old Trafford, Manchester, 13 December 2003. AFP PHOTO/Paul Barker (Photo credit should read PAUL BARKER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Bolton Wanderers v Manchester United

    BOLTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 7: Paul Scholes celebrates his goal with Darren Fletcher during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Reebok Stadium on January 7, 2004 in Bolton, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United v Manchester City

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 14: Paul Scholes of Man Utd celebrates with John O'Shea after scoring the first goal during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on February 14, 2004 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United v FC Porto

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 9: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League match between Manchester United and FC Porto at Old Trafford on March 9, 2004 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

  • SOCCER Arsenal v Man Utd

    Manchester United's Paul Scholes celebrates scoring the opening goal against Arsenal during the FA Cup semi final at Villa Park, Birmingham. THIS PICTURE CAN ONLY BE USED WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF AN EDITORIAL FEATURE. NO WEBSITE/INTERNET USE UNLESS SITE IS REGISTERED WITH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION PREMIER LEAGUE.

  • Manchester United v Charlton Athletic

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: Paul Scholes of Manchester celebrates after scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premiership match between Manchester United and Charlton Athletic at Old Trafford, on November 20, 2004 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

  • West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United

    WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates his first goal with team mate Roy Keane, during the Barclays Premiership match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United at the Hawthorns Stadium, on November 27, 2004 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

  • CORRECTIION Manchester United's Paul Sch

    MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM: CORRECTIION Manchester United's Paul Scholes (R) celebrates with Rio Ferdinand after scoring against Crystal Palace to make it 1-0 during today's Premiership football clash at Old Trafford, Manchester, 18 December 2004. AFP photo by Paul Barker No Telcos, Website uses subject to subscription with FAPL on WWW.faplweb.com (Photo credit should read PAUL BARKER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes (R) cel

    MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM: Manchester United's Paul Scholes (R) celebrates with Wayne Rooney (L) after scoring against Crystal Palace to make it 3-2 during today's Premiership football clash at Old Trafford, Manchester 18 December 2004. AFP photo by Paul Barker No Telcos, Website uses subject to subscription with FAPL on WWW.faplweb.com (Photo credit should read PAUL BARKER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes celebra

    MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM: Manchester United's Paul Scholes celebrates after scoring against Bolton to make it 2-0 during today's Premiership football clash at Old Trafford, Manchester, 26 December 2004. AFP photo by Paul Barker (Photo credit should read PAUL BARKER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United v Aston Villa

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the third goal against Aston Villa during the Barclays Premiership match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on January 22, 2005 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes (centre

    CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM: Manchester United's Paul Scholes (centre, L) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (C) celebrate as Alan Shearer (R) of Newcastle United awaits to restart the game after the third goal during the F.A. Cup semi-final match at The Millenium Stadium in Cardiff 17 April 2005. Manchester United won the game 4-1 to advance to the final against Arsenal. AFP PHOTO/ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes (R) cel

    Manchester, UNITED KINGDOM: Manchester United's Paul Scholes (R) celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 against West Brom during today's Premiereship match at Old Trafford, 26 December 2005 in Manchester. AFP Photo / Paul Barker (Photo credit should read PAUL BARKER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • UEFA Champions League: Manchester United v FC Copenhagen

    MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 17: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates with team mates as he scores the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Manchester United and FC Copenhagen at Old Trafford on October 17, 2006 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes celebra

    manchester, UNITED KINGDOM: Manchester United's Paul Scholes celebrates beating Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina and defender Sami Hyyppia to score during their English Premiership soccer match at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, 22 October 2006. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES Mobile and website use of domestic English football pictures subject to subscription of a license with Football Association Premier League (FAPL) tel : +44 207 298 1656. For newspapers where the football content of the printed and electronic versions are identical, no licence is necessary. (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes (R) cel

    NEWCASTLE, UNITED KINGDOM: Manchester United's Paul Scholes (R) celebrates his goal with Darren Fletcher during their English Premiership footall match against Newcastle at St James' Park, Newcastle, England, 01 January 2007. AFP PHOTO Mobile and website use of domestic English football pictures subject to subscription of a license with Football Association Premier League (FAPL) tel : +44 207 298 1656. For newspapers where the football content of the printed and electronic versions are identical, no licence is necessary. (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United

    LONDON - FEBRUARY 04: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the third goal of the game during the Barclays Premiership match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on February 4, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United's Paul Scholes (2nd L)

    Manchester, UNITED KINGDOM: Manchester United's Paul Scholes (2nd L) celebrates scoring against Blackburn Rovers during their English Premiership football match at Old Trafford, Manchester, North-west England, 31 March 2007. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES Mobile and website use of domestic English football pictures subject to subscription of a license with Football Association Premier League (FAPL) tel : +44 207 298 1656. For newspapers where the football content of the printed and electronic versions are identical, no licence is necessary. (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United footballer Paul Schole

    Manchester United footballer Paul Scholes (R) celebrates his goal with teammate Cristiano Ronaldo (L) as they play against Portsmouth at Fratton Park in Portsmouth, in southern England, 15 August 2007. AFP PHOTO/CARL DE SOUZA Mobile and website use of domestic English football pictures are subject to obtaining a Photographic End User Licence from Football DataCo Ltd Tel : +44 (0) 207 864 9121 or e-mail accreditations@football-dataco.com - applies to Premier and Football League matches. (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final

    MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 29: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, second leg match between Manchester United and Barcelona at Old Trafford on April 29, 2008 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United's English midfielder P

    Manchester United's English midfielder Paul Scholes (C) celebrates scoring against Barcelona during their UEFA Champions League second leg football match on April 29, 2008 at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United v Fulham - Premier League

    MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 18: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Fulham at Old Trafford on February 18, 2009 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League

    SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - APRIL 11: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal with his team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United at The Stadium of Light on April 11, 2009 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebr

    Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates his goal during the Champions League Group B soccer match between Besiktas vs Mancester United at Inonu stadium in Istanbul on September 15, 2009.AFP PHOTO/MUSTAFA OZER (Photo credit should read MUSTAFA OZER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Paul Scholes of Manchester United (C) celebrates scoring their first goal with Wes Brown (L) during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester United at Upton Park on December 5, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)