Manchester United boss Ferguson asked Scholes to play on

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Diminishing influence led Scholes to retire

Paul Scholes has revealed that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson wanted the midfielder to prolong his playing career.

The 36-year-old, who won 10 Premier League titles with United, announced his retirement in May.

He told BBC Sport: "The manager felt I could do 15 to 20 games next season.

"Physically I was not feeling great in training or the games towards the end of the season. I came to this decision which I think is the right one."

Scholes made the last of his 676 appearances for the Red Devils in the 3-1 Champions League final defeat by Barcelona at Wembley.

The former England international, who made his United debut in 1994, will now take up a coaching role at Old Trafford.

"I've been lucky to have a lot of good years," he added. "I think I always thought I would know when the time was right - and I felt the time was right to call it a day.

"It wasn't a hard decision because I know how my body felt and how my head felt as well."

When Scholes announced his retirement, Ferguson called the former England international "a truly unbelievable player", while chief executive David Gill said he had "established himself as one of the greatest players to ever wear the United shirt".

But Scholes, who was a member of the United team that won the Champions League in 2008, feels he is not irreplaceable at Old Trafford.

"He [Ferguson] will have his own ideas on the way the team goes forward," said Scholes.

"There have been a lot of players who have left this club. Look at Roy Keane, Mark Hughes, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona. You think how do you replace them but somehow this club will always do that."

Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes

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