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Paul Scholes names the three toughest midfielders he played against

Paul Scholes toughest

Some surprising choices.

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has listed the three toughest midfielders he came up against throughout his hugely successful career.

Paul Scholes toughest

The 45-year-old scored over 150 goals in more than 700 appearances for Manchester United between 1993-2013.

The midfielder won 25 trophies throughout his time with the club which included 11 Premier League titles and two Champions League titles.

Opposition players hated coming up against Scholes such was his ability to hold possession, play a pass between the lines, tackle and score goals.

Such was his skill, you can’t imagine Scholes would have been too apprehensive about facing certain players but he has listed three which caused him some trouble.

Unsurprisingly, Patrick Vieira is on the list. The Arsenal legend played a huge role in the success of the London club at the time and he formed a great rivalry with the United midfield, particularly Roy Keane.

The other two people on his list are a little bit more surprising; Papa Bouba Diop and Robbie Savage.

Paul Scholes: “They used to call him the ‘wardrobe.'”

“There’s one more that people won’t think of,” Scholes told the Savage Social podcast.

“We used to play against Portsmouth. Do you remember Papa Bouba Diop? Big, massive. They used to call him the ‘Wardrobe.’

“You get involved physically with him and you’re wasting your time. I always found him awkward to play against. He wasn’t a Vieira, of course he wasn’t, but he still had talent.”

On Savage, Scholes recalled that he was never given a moment’s peace by the fiery midfielder.

“When I played central midfield, I like to go into games thinking, ‘I just want to have all the time in the world here, just nobody around me, just find a little bit of space and pass the ball around.’

“Then you play against people like you [Robbie]. An absolute nuisance, trying to close you down dead quick. I don’t want that, I just want it nice and relaxed.”

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email seanmc@punditarena.com or on Twitter