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Wayne Rooney believes Paul Scholes is the best player he’s played with during his career

The former England captain opened up to talkSPORT in a very revealing interview after his international retirement

When you’ve had the kind of career that Wayne Rooney has you’re able to recall upon some incredible former team-mates.

Rooney hung up his international boots last week after snubbing the chance to rejoin the England setup again.


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TalkSPORT’s exclusive interview, with Mark Saggers asking the questions, airs at 1pm today in association with the Wayne Rooney Foundation

Simon J. Newbury
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Rooney spoke exclusively to talkSPORT’s Mark Saggers

And, in a revealing series of interviews with talkSPORT, the former England and Manchester United captain has revealed who he thought was the best player he’s ever played alongside.

Paul Scholes is widely regarded as the greatest midfielder of his generation, with the likes of Xavi and Zinedine Zidane waxing lyrical about the ex-United man in the past.

Rooney reckons Scholes was the pick of the bunch

Offside Sports Photography
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Rooney reckons Scholes was the pick of the bunch

And it appears Rooney is a member of the Scholes fan club too – whilst also claiming his misuse at international level cost England dearly.

Rooney said: “Scholesy is the best I’ve played with.

“He was the one player who had that game-management, and the mind which would have allowed him to go and play anywhere.

“He could put his boots on now and still play, I’m sure. He was that good.

“If we’d used him a bit more in his right position he could have certainly influenced a lot more games.”

Scholes and England couldn't fulfil their billing at Euro 2004

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Scholes and England couldn’t fulfil their billing at Euro 2004

Scholes was played out of his favoured position at Euro 2004 to accommodate the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the middle, and Rooney feels the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ were unlucky not to go further in major tournaments.

“If you look at that team, we were certainly capable of winning a trophy and it didn’t happen,” he added.

Gareth Southgate was keen on picking Wayne Rooney for his England squad

Reuters
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Rooney snubbed Gareth Southgate’s offer to return to the England fold

“We were unlucky in Portugal [2004] and Germany [2006], going out on penalties in the quarter-finals.

“If one of those goes the other way, you never what can happen. And if we’d used Paul Scholes better that would have given us a good start.”


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