Scholes regrets turning down World Cup call

Paul Scholes has admitted that he regrets turning down the chance to play for England in this summer’s World Cup and would have travelled if Fabio Capello, and not his second-in-command Paolo Bandini, had made the offer.

The veteran Manchester United midfielder revealed that he was given just two hours to decide if he wanted to come out of international retirement but thought it would be unfair to take the place of a player who had helped England qualify.

‘It was difficult. He [Baldini] rang me the day before [the squad announcement],’ Scholes said. ‘I probably just needed a bit more time. I thought after a week, a couple of weeks, that maybe I should have gone. I am not saying I would have made a difference. I don't look back and think it didn't go well for England because I didn't go.’

The midfielder continued: ‘I am just saying it was a chance to play in the World Cup and I turned it down. It wasn't until you start seeing all the build‑up to the tournament and I thought maybe I made the wrong decision. It wasn't the manager who rang me but Baldini. It was flattering.’

However, Scholes admitted that he may have said yes if Capello had made the offer personally: ‘I don't know. Maybe it might have meant more. I had to make a decision in two hours or something. I am not saying it definitely would have been different but I think it might have been.’

‘I did not expect it. It wasn't even on my mind. I got a phone call the day before asking me if I fancied it and saying I had a couple of hours to decide. I don't know him [Baldini].’

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2020