Former Manchester United star Paul Scholes admitted regretting his decision to retire from England duty in 2004. Though Paul Scholes went on to win plenty more accolades for Premier League side Manchester United, he was just 29 years old when he made the decision to retire from national duty. There were reports of a feud between Paul Scholes and then England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson but the 45-year-old has revealed the main issue for quitting England at the pinnacle of his career and rejecting an opportunity to play under Fabio Capello at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
While speaking to BBC5 Live, the player himself answered the question, 'Why did Paul Scholes quit England in 2004?'. The former Manchester United midfielder said that he was often criticised for his lack of goals, something he was always judged upon by the fans of the country. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were the players that were chosen to play in central midfield while Scholes was usually deployed on the left.
Apart from disliking his place on the pitch, Scholes admitted that he wanted to spend more time with his family and give further importance to club football with Manchester United. However, Scholes explained that his decision to retire from international duty was a regrettable one; a decision he reflects on till date. Scholes racked up 66 caps for England and played in four major tournaments before announcing his retirement in August 2004.
Fabio Capello was appointed as head coach of the Three Lions in 2007. The primary aim for the Italian was to succeed with England in the 2010 World Cup. Scholes explained that Fabio Capello begged him to come out of retirement and play for his country during the tournament but Paul Scholes declined.
Paul Scholes explained that it was not fair to make a return just before the World Cup 2010. England were hit with a few injuries just before the start of the tournament which led to an opening for Scholes. Although Fabio Capello wanted Scholes in his squad, the Englishman stated that they were involved in qualifying for over two years and taking a spot in the team did not seem right at the time.