Manchester United news

Ferdinand: Scholes in Messi class

January 18, 2012
By ESPN staff

Rio Ferdinand has likened his Manchester United team-mate Paul Scholes to Lionel Messi and Xavi, claiming only a handful of players could make a seamless return following a spell in retirement.

Paul Scholes
GettyImagesPaul Scholes made a scoring return at Old Trafford on Saturday

Scholes, 37, called time on his career in the summer, but soon started craving for the game and was lured out of retirement in January.

He made a solid return, one misplaced pass aside, in the FA Cup win over Manchester City and scored the opening goal in the win over Bolton.

Scholes' efficient style of play has left Ferdinand in awe, with the defender of the opinion that he is on a par with Barcelona's modern midfield greats.

"Only a handful of players could do it," Ferdinand said. "Iniesta, Xavi, Messi - they're the type of players who look as though they could play football at the drop of a hat at the top level. It's natural to them."