Friday, October 20, 2006

Scholes prepares for 500th appearance

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson paid tribute to Paul Scholes on Friday as the midfielder prepares to join an elite band of players to make 500 appearances for the club.

Scholes, 31, will reach the landmark in Sunday's game against fierce local rivals Liverpool, joining current team mates Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs on the roll of honour.

"To reach 500 games and be only the ninth person in our history to do that is terrific," Ferguson told a news conference.

"It's a great credit to the boy. We are very fortunate that we have three great examples of our club in Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, which speaks volumes for the type of people they are. Those three have been fantastic servants to us."

"It's a credit, firstly, to their endurance to play as long as that in first-team football at this club, particularly with the demands and expectation, and their ability and their desire."

Manchester-born Scholes joined United as a teenage striker but soon evolved into an attacking midfield player who has scored 131 goals for United since making his debut in 1994.

He has won a string of domestic trophies under Ferguson, but missed their 1999 Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich due to suspension.

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