Man Utd legend Paul Scholes names the two Premier League opponents he hated facing

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes
Scholes often got the better of his midfield opponents (Picture: Getty Images)

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has revealed he despised coming up against ex-Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira and former Fulham hardman Papa Bouba Diop as they were so ‘awkward’ to deal with.

As well as being known for his exceptional passing range, the tough-tackling midfield general amassed the fifth-most yellow cards of any player in Premier League history over his 20-year career at Old Trafford.

Scholes won an impressive 11 league titles under Sir Alex Ferguson and earned 66 caps for England, but despite his many accolades, he hated the physical challenge posed by Vieira and Bouba Diop.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘As a midfield player, especially the way I played, I didn’t really have to beat people, I didn’t have to be stronger than the other person, I didn’t have to be quicker than the other person, it was more my passing that beat them.

‘I suppose the awkward ones… obviously Patrick Vieira, he’s so long, he’s so big. You think you’ve got the ball, next minute he nicks the ball over your head.

‘He was a clever player as well, he could play one-twos around you, he could score goals, he could make goals.

Nice manager Patrick Vieira
Vieira now manages Nice in France (Picture: Getty Images)

‘There’s one more that people won’t think of, when I played against Portsmouth, do you remember Papa Bouba Diop? He played for Fulham as well.

‘Big, massive, they used to call him the wardrobe. Get involved with him physically, you’re absolutely wasting your time.

‘I always found him awkward to play against.

‘Look, he wasn’t a Patrick Vieira, of course he wasn’t, but he still had talent. As far as players being awkward to play against, I always found him a nuisance.’

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