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Jul, 29, 2012

Scholes: I never got England call

Paul Scholes insists he needed no persuading to extend his career by another season after admitting he handled his initial retirement badly, but claimed he was never offered the chance to return for England.

Scholes, 37, called time on his stellar career following the 2011 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona at Wembley, but returned six months later and had such a positive impact that it was suggested he might earn a shock call-up to Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad, eight years after his last international.

In the end, Hodgson never even made the call, which Scholes may well have said yes to.

"I wasn't offered the chance,'' he said. "It was flattering to be talked about. But I wasn't asked, so it means nothing.''

Scholes has since signed on for another season at Old Trafford, which Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson does expect to be the former England midfielder's last, and needed little persuasion.

"I was all right for the first couple of months after retiring and didn't really miss anything,'' Scholes told reporters on Manchester United's recent pre-season tour of South Africa. "But once I got back into going to Carrington and coaching the reserves, as well as being with the lads, it was difficult, especially when there were so many injuries to the team.

"If I'd stayed away from the reserves and the club I'd probably have been OK. But every day that I was going in I just wanted to train and be involved. The manager didn't have to twist my arm to play this season.''

The real reason for his decision to stay another year may well have been the manner in which rivals Manchester City took the Premier League crown away from the Red Devils.

"It's always a motivating force when you lose the league," he explained. "It's not nice to see another team celebrate winning the title on the last day of the season. That picture stays with you."

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