Barcelona legend Xavi has revealed he regrets that he never had the chance to play alongside Manchester United legend Paul Scholes.
The Spanish midfielder announced his retirement from international football this week after 133 caps and three major trophies as part of Spain’s golden generation of football.
Asked if he regretted anything from his 16-year career, Xavi said he wished he could have played with the Old Trafford hero.
“When I think about all I have won with Spain and Barcelona and all the great players I have played with, it is impossible for me to have any regrets,” he said.
“Maybe one small regret is I never got to play with Paul Scholes. But I was never going to leave Barcelona and he was never going to leave Manchester United.”
Xavi has always made it abundantly clear he is a huge fan of Scholes. Back in 2011, he told the Daily Mail: “In the last 15-20 years the best midfielder I’ve seen – the most complete, is Scholes. I have spoken with Xabi Alonso about this many times.
“Scholes is a spectacular player who has everything. He can play the final pass, he can score, he is strong, he never gets knocked off the ball and doesn’t give possession away. If he had been Spanish then maybe he would have been valued more.”
Of course, Xavi is not the only world-class footballer speak so highly of arguably the greatest midfielder to have ever played for United. Scholes is generally seen by team-mates and opponents alike as one of the finest players of his generation.
Edgar Davids: “I’m not the best, Paul Scholes is. We can all learn from Paul Scholes.”
Zinedine Zidane: “He’s almost untouchable in what he does. I never get tired of watching him play. One of my regrets is that the opportunity to play alongside him never presented itself.”
Thierry Henry: “Without any doubt the best player in the Premiership.”
Rio Ferdinand: “He’ll do ridiculous things in training like say: “You see that tree there?” – it’ll be 40 yards away – “I’m going to hit it.” And he’ll do it. Everyone at the club considers him the best.”