It’s often been said that Paul Scholes could still deliver in the Premier League despite being 44 years old – and he proved that class is permanent during Vincent Kompany’s testimonial.
The Manchester United hero was part of the Premier League All-Stars XI who took on a Manchester City Legends team at the Eithad Stadium on Wednesday night.
While fans were treated to an entertaining 2-2 draw at the home of the English top-flight champions, there was a moment in the second half that got them out of their seats.
Scholes, the former England midfielder, found former Red Devils team-mate Robin van Persie with an outrageous ‘no-look’ pass that left opponent Joleon Lescott utterly baffled.
Unfortunately Van Persie was unable to cap off the brilliant move with a goal but fans were quick to applaud Scholes after he produced what seemed like an impossible pass.
And, understandably, United fans were calling on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to use the former Old Trafford favourite in his current midfeld.
One fan said: “Genuine question: Does Paul Scholes fancy coming out of retirement once again? Could still do a job in the middle of the pitch for United #Legend.”
Another wrote: “It’s sad to think that players such as Michael Carrick (38), Paul Scholes (44), & Robin Van Persie (36) would all stil get into the current Manchester United side.”
Even former team-mate Rio Ferdinand applauded his pal by posting on Twitter : “Scholesy stop it.”
The evening, however, wasn’t all about Scholes as City fans waved farewell to their former captain Kompany, who hailed a perfect evening despite being forced to miss his own testimonial through injury.
A crowd of 51,602 turned up at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday to say farewell to the former Manchester City captain, who left the Premier League champions at the end of last season.
They were denied the chance of seeing the inspirational defender in action for one last time due to yet another injury, however – a frustration the man himself knows only too well.
The 33-year-old won 10 major honours in 11 years at the club but he was dogged by muscular problems throughout the second half of his City career.
“It’s typical me,” he said of the hamstring injury before the game, but that did not stop him enjoying the friendly between a City side featuring a host of star names from throughout his career and a Premier League All Stars XI.
“I’m the proudest man in the world,” said the Belgian, who also gave game time to his brother Francois and a number of players from Anderlecht, where he is now player-manager.
“It’s been a special day. It’s been a perfect evening even though I didn’t play. I couldn’t have wished for more.”
The priority for Kompany was raising funds for his homelessness charity Tackle4MCR, which aims to eradicate rough sleeping in Manchester. It is an issue that has been close to his heart throughout his stay in the city he now considers home.
“The key thing is to raise as much funding as we can and use it to help the people who are helping those living on the streets,” he said.
The game itself finished 2-2 with City scoring in the first and last minutes through Martin Petrov and Benjani Mwaruwari.
The Premier League side struck through Robbie Keane and Robin Van Persie, one of a number of former Manchester United players to feature. Others included Gary Neville – who left the field injured – Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick.