Football

Paul Scholes names Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira as the toughest opponent he faced at Manchester United


Arsenal and Manchester UNited shared the title between them from 1996 to 2004 (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has selected former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira as the toughest midfielder he came up against during his time at Old Trafford.

Scholes won 10 Premier League titles before hanging up his boots in 2011, only to come out of retirement six months later to play for a further 18 months in which time he won another league title.

United battled Arsenal for supremacy during Scholes’ early career and the two teams shared the Premiership between 1996 and 2004, when Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho side broke up their dominance.

Patrick Vieira was named Arsenal captain after Tony Adams’ retirement in 2002 and Sir Alex Ferguson tried to sign the France ace on three occasions before his move to Juventus in 2005.

United tried to sign Vieira on three occasions (Picture: Getty)

The Frenchman was a constant thorn in United’s side over the period and Scholes has sung Vieira’s praises by admitting he was the toughest opponent he came up against in his career.

‘As a player I played against Vieira was brilliant,’ Scholes told the A Goal In One Podcast.

‘The way I played there was never an opponent I had to be fitter than, stronger than, more physical than. I was never that type of player, I was a passing player.

‘I could beat players with passing but Vieira he was just so awkward, so tall, so long, so leggy. Just when you thought you had it he would nick it over your head.

Vieira won three Premier League titles at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

‘He was just so awkward to play against but what a really good player. He wasn’t just a holding player, he got himself forward, he could score goals, he could make goals. He had great energy.

‘Whenever people ask me who’s the best I played against [Okay maybe] not the best [ability wise] but the most awkward I played against it was Vieira.’

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