“He used to absolutely smash it.”
Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has opened up on the Red Devils signing that left him amazed during their first training session together.
Scholes revealed that former United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy was “ruthless” on his first day in training, adding that the Dutchman “just scored from anywhere”.
Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Van Nistelrooy announced his talent to the world as a youngster in the Dutch Eredivisie.
The former Netherlands international scored 31 goals in 34 games for PSV Eindhoven during the 1998-99 season, finishing as the division’s top scorer.
The following season, he scored 29 goals as PSV clinched the league title and a year later, in the summer of 2001, Man United came calling to the tune of £25.6m.
The striker continued his productive streak in front of goal at Old Trafford, scoring 150 goals and providing 29 assists in 219 appearances for the club.
Scholes on van Nistelrooy.
Scholes appeared on The Robbie Fowler podcast and was asked which of his former United teammates amazed him on their first day in training.
“This man might be a surprise, but it was Ruud van Nistelrooy,” Scholes replied.
“We didn’t really see a lot of Dutch football in those days. I hadn’t really seen him. I’d heard of him, obviously.
“We had apparently signed him and then he got that bad injury, so he was out for a year, or whatever it was, nine months.
“He had to play a little bit before we signed him. Was it £20million or something like that?
“I remember seeing him in training the first day and I thought, ‘wow’. It was just a little finishing session and he was ruthless. He just scored from anywhere.
“I know he didn’t score a lot of goals from out the box, but once you give him a chance.
“It wasn’t just a little place in the corner like Robbie (Fowler) used to do, it wasn’t a side-footer or a chip or a dink. He used to absolutely smash it, I mean smash it and give the goalkeeper absolutely no chance.”
“I had a really good partnership with Ruud,” the 46-year-old said.
“I felt like I knew what he wanted and he knew what I wanted. I think I played number 10 for a year with him and scored the most goals I did in a season.
“I loved playing with Ruud. I thought he was brilliant. He lived for scoring goals.”