Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has revealed that he was near in tears after Sergio Aguero snatched the title away on the final day of the 11/12 campaign.
Scholes was lured out of retirement midway through the season by Sir Alex Ferguson as United and neighbours Manchester City battled for Premier League glory.
On the final day of the season, United went to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland, whilst City played Queens Park Rangers at the Etihad stadium.
All things were going United’s way as they won their game 1-0 and City were losing 2-1 going in the latter stages of the match. However, Aguero produced arguably the best ever moment in Premier League history as he scored a last gasp winner to help Roberto Mancini’s side win 3-2 and the along with it the title.
Image Credit: AlamyDuring his appearance on Gary Neville’s Overlap Xtra, Scholes said he was nearly in tears after Ferguson’s team talk after the match.
He said: “I nearly cried.”
“It made it worse, because City playing QPR, we just didn’t think it would be a problem. We went to Sunderland thinking it don’t matter.
“We didn’t think we’d won the league [at full-time]. You don’t think like that, do you?”
“All I knew growing up was you’re either a City fan or a United fan, so that was probably why [the City games felt bigger]. Liverpool was a big game but City was always the one for me.”
Scholes’s former United teammate, Rio Ferdinand labelled that day as ‘one of the maddest moments’.
The former centre back told William Hill’s Stripped Podcast: “We do our part and win against Sunderland, and the game finishes,” Ferdinand said. Normally when a game finishes, everyone’s game has finished, and we go ‘what was the score?’ And at that point we think we’ve got it, we’ve won the title.
“And then, all of a sudden, the Sunderland fans start cheering, the news comes round and they’re all cheering. And in that moment, it was like… boy, I wouldn’t give that feeling to anyone. Taking something you’ve given like a year’s worth of work to and all the intensity that goes with it… You know what the feeling is like when you win it, it’s there in your hands and then it just falls through.”
Image Credit: AlamyFerdinand also spoke about Ferguson’s team talk.
He added: “And I’ll never forget Sir Alex Ferguson’s team talk after we went in. The room is quiet except for a few people swearing and kicking things.
” Then we’re sitting down with the manager, and he goes, ‘you experienced ones, you’ll get through this, but all you young ones (going around naming them), all of you remember this moment and remember their fans, the Sunderland fans who’ve got nothing to play for here. They’re sitting there and laughing at you and cheering.’ And that was it, ‘go and enjoy your summer’.
“You’d be running in pre-season, on holiday in pre-season, and all you are thinking about is ramming that back down Manchester City’s throat. We won the league the next year, so it was a mad moment.”