Just as fans are coming to terms with the fact that they won’t see Paul Scholes next season, Manchester United’s midfield maestro has been signed up by Bryan Robson, to play in the Red Heart United Legends Match on 2nd June.
Scholes will join former team mates Andrew Cole, Denis Irwin, Dwight Yorke, Edwin van der Sar, Jaap Stam, Ronny Johnsen, Henning Berg, and Teddy Sheringham to take on a star-studded Real Madrid team consisting of, not only his former midfield rival Zinedine Zidane, but Luis Figo, Claude Makelele, Christian Karembeu, Guti and Fernando Redondo.
After signing up the United hero just three weeks into his retirement, team manager Robson said, “I think Scholesy will love not just being on the pitch with Real Madrid, but with Zinedine Zidane. In the past he has said that Scholesy was the best midfield player in the world, so it will be nice for Paul to see him again and play against him and the rest of the Real Madrid players.” He added, “We all still love participating in the game and playing for charity is something players enjoy doing.”
Real Madrid travel to Old Trafford hoping to defend a 3-2 victory over the Reds, claimed in the first leg at the Bernabeu last year. Although the match is being played in aid of the Manchester United Foundation, Scholes is keen to turn the deficit around: “It would be great to win the game,” he said, “but there are some true greats in their team; players who have won World Cups and European Championships. The skill, dedication and passion it takes to be the best in the world is something you never lose. It may be for charity, but it’s going to be a very tough game.”
This sentiment is mirrored by the great Zidane, who once hailed Scholes as ‘’the complete footballer’: “He’s almost untouchable in what he does. I never tire of watching him play. You rarely come across the complete footballer, but Scholes is as close to it as you can get. One of my regrets is that the opportunity to play alongside him never presented itself during my career.”
The Red Heart United legends match and concert will offer a full day out for the whole family and will include an opening ceremony with a concert on the pitch featuring JLS, Amelia Lily and Tinchy Stryder. In keeping with the two clubs’ origins, there will also be the chance to try your hand at some Spanish and British themed games as well as sample traditional cuisine from both nations.
All proceeds from Red Heart United will go to the Manchester United Foundation and will help to fund projects that help young people in disadvantaged areas of Greater Manchester.
Buy tickets here.