Manchester United not in the same league as top European clubs: Paul Scholes
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Manchester United not in the same league as top European clubs: Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes feels that teams like Juventus, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are ahead at the moment of Manchester United.

football Updated: Sep 18, 2017 09:18 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Manchester United,Paul Scholes,Juventus
Paul Scholes is a former Manchester United player who is currently in India to promote Premier Futsal.(Getty Images)

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has admitted that the English giants were a tier below other premier European clubs, and that it would take some time before they get back into that bracket.

In an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times on Sunday on the sidelines of Premier Futsal, Scholes said, “I don’t think they’re at that level yet. But I don’t think Champions League is the goal; the goal is to bring them back to challenge in the Premier League. We saw in the Super Cup at the start of the season that Real Madrid were a long way ahead of Man United. Teams like Juventus, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona and PSG are ahead at the moment but if United win the league, then the priority will change to Champions League and getting close to these sides.”

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After missing out on Champions League in two of the last three seasons, United earned back a place in Europe’s premier club tournament by winning the Europa League last season.

Scholes, who won the Champions League twice during his time with Manchester United, however, added that the current crop of players looked like a promising unit.

“Matic has been a good signing to bring stability in the middle of the pitch, Phil Jones has started the season well. If they can carry on this performance, they have a chance of winning the league. No doubt about that. City will also be there, and Chelsea will be there as well. It’s going to be competitive,” Scholes added.

For the record, Manchester United have spent nearly £300 million in the last two years to bolster their squad with players like Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.

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The scenario was different in Scholes’ days when neither astronomical sums were thrown for the services of young players nor was there any added pressure to perform.

“I think it’s more difficult now for young players to come from the youth teams and get into the first teams because, you know, these owners, they’ve been spending a lot of money, they want success straightaway. I hope Manchester United will always be the team who will want to promote young players,” he said, before adding, “Will all the clubs do that, I’m not sure. They’re desperate for success, desperate to try and compete with clubs like Man United.”

Scholes, who is in town to take part in the Mumbai leg of Premier Futsal, helped his side Bengaluru Royals thump Kerala Cobras 4-0 in their inaugural game on Saturday night.

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Speaking on his journey since retirement, Scholes said, “I was asked by Luis Figo if I’d be interested to come and play in India with the Futsal Premier League and I said yes. It keeps you going once you retire; you miss football, you miss training and you miss a bit about that everyday life. So with the crowd watching and being a part of the team, it was something I was interested in doing.”

He also voiced his opinion in favour of youngsters taking up the game, saying that while futsal helps one to understand the technical and tactical aspects of football, it also helps them learn things as basic as passing and receiving the ball.

First Published: Sep 18, 2017 09:02 IST