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Man United legend Paul Scholes hails Christian Eriksen’s intelligence, says Barcelona’s wonder goal was ‘a fake move’ and describes Erling Haaland as ‘fuckin’ amazing’ but insists Kylian Mbappe will be better


Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has hailed Christian Eriksen as the perfect example of a smart midfielder.

The Red Devils icon made a name for himself between 1994 and 2013 as one of the club’s greatest attacking midfielders, as his vision and creativity in the middle of the park allowed their flair players to show their quality.

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Eriksen was praised for his intelligence by Scholes

Manchester United FC: Fans believe Paul Scholes could enter Van Gaal's midfield

Scholes is considered an all-time great for Manchester United for his creative displays in midfield

Now 47, Scholes was speaking to friend and former team-mate Gary Neville about what he values ​​in a player and singled out the Danish superstar as the perfect example of what a player in the middle of the park should do.

Asked by Neville what he looks for in a player, Scholes told The Overlap: “Intelligence. Smart players. Smart players with a brain.

Asked about Eriksen, Scholes replied: “Brilliant. The perfect example of a player who plays with intelligence and plays with his brain. He’s just a smart player. He knows where he is on the pitch and he knows where the others are on the pitch.

Discussing the tendency of midfielders to pass the ball backwards to their defenders, Scholes added: “That’s the problem I’ve seen.

“They were beaten by someone and it’s a bit hard for Scott [McTominay] and Fred, but they were always back on target. You talk about people receiving the ball with their backs to goal, that’s the only way they could go.

“You should be on the U-turn, so I can still see you, but I can also see my striker.

Scholes thinks some Man United players are better equipped than others to play on the front foot

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Scholes thinks some Man United players are better equipped than others to play on the front foot

“You see Casemiro doing it. Eriksen does it all the time. You see the goal they scored against Arsenal, Eriksen received it on the half-turn, passed it to Fernandes who was on the half-turn and Rashford scored.

“Little things like that just annoy me because if you play at Manchester United you should be able to do it. You would expect that.

Scholes asked a number of quick questions and named Liverpool’s Anfield and Newcastle’s St James’ Park as the away grounds he liked to play at, before making a startling admission about his famous long-range effort against Barcelona in Champions League.

Picking up the ball at Old Trafford in the semi-final of Europe’s biggest competition 2008, Scholes fired an effort into the top corner of the net to send them through to the final, but admitted his effort didn’t go exactly to plan .

Scholes secured a spot in the Champions League final with a stunning goal against Barcelona

Scholes secured a spot in the Champions League final with a stunning goal against Barcelona

He said: “It was a kick. It came off the outside of my foot!

“You know when you try to hit him that way, with a bit of a fade on it, he should come out of the post and then into the other corner really.

“I wasn’t thinking of doing that, I was just thinking of hitting the target, to be honest with you, but when it goes towards the goalkeeper and that way you don’t mean that. No chance.”

When asked if that was the most important goal he had scored, Scholes replied: “It was the most important goal, yes.”

Looking to the future, football has a number of promising talents that people aspire to emulate.

Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland seem to be the main contenders in the battle for the best player in the world, but according to Scholes it’s the Frenchman who is slightly more impressive.

Scholes hailed Mbappe as Haaland's top star

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Scholes hailed Mbappe as Haaland’s top star

Scholes said: “I would go Mbappe. I think there’s more to his game [than Haaland]he’s not just a hard-core centre-forward, is he?

“He can go far, he can dribble past people, he’s fast, he can play one-two. Listen, Haaland is amazing, don’t get me wrong, but he’s a goalscorer, right?

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Man United legend Paul Scholes hails Christian Eriksen's intelligence, says Barcelona's wonder goal was 'a fake move' and describes Erling Haaland as 'fuckin' amazing' but insists Kylian Mbappe will be better

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