In an era where Premier League footballers became staples of the tabloid gossip columns and took to Twitter to vent their thoughts, Paul Scholes was the quiet man of English football.
Not for him the celebrity lifestyle of his former Manchester United teammate David Beckham.
Instead Scholes became arguably an even more influential player than Beckham and perhaps the best England midfielder of his generation.
Born in nearby Salford, it didn't take long for Scholes to make his way to Old Trafford where he became a key member of United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's trophy-winning sides.
Blessed with an eye for a pass and indeed a goal - Scholes scored the winner in United's 2008 Champions League semi-final win over Barcelona - just about his only weakness on the field was an inability to tackle.
If Scholes was something of a throwback away from football, he was in the vanguard of a trend when announcing his retirement from England duty at the early age of 29 after Euro 2004.
In the latter stages of his career, injuries became an increasing problem for Scholes, notably an alarming eye problem in December 2005 that left him with blurred vision.
Scholes had indicated a desire to retire last season only for Ferguson to persuade him to stay on for one more campaign, the midfielder's 18th season.
Fight to regain job
A former Turkish soccer referee who says he was forced out of the football federation two years ago because of his homosexuality pleaded to be reinstated at an Istanbul court on Tuesday.
Halil Ibrahim Dincdag, 35, has accused the Turkish Football Federation of passing documents to the media showing he was exempted from compulsory military service because of his sexual orientation, which in turn led to death threats.
Messi's next goal
Lionel Messi now has his sights firmly set on winning the July 1-24 Copa America with Argentina in his home country.
"My goal is to play in and win the Copa America with Argentina," said Messi.