PAUL SCHOLES has admitted he regrets cutting his England career short.
The former Manchester United star stepped down from international duty in 2004, but Fabio Capello begged him to return for the 2010 World Cup.
Scholes called time on his Three Lions career at the age of 29 after making 66 appearances and playing in four major tournaments.
He admitted it was a “personal decision” to step down despite claims he did not get along with Sven-Goran Eriksson.
And the Old Trafford legend spoke of his regret for quitting after England were booted out of the Euros by Portugal.
Speaking on BBC 5Live, he said: “I had a young family at the time and going away for England for ten days at a time, sometimes six weeks in the summer, it just wasn’t ideal and I wasn’t enjoying it.
“I know a lot was made of Sven-Goran Eriksson playing me on the left-hand side of midfield but that was never the problem.
“My form in the last 20 or 30 caps wasn’t quite good enough and Steven and Frank were two top-class players who he went with centrally.
“I went on the left but I played there many times for United and was quite successful there, scored a few goals so it was never really why I left England.
“It was just a personal choice.
“I do regret leaving England so soon. I went back to United and my football changed.
“I had been a player who was expected to score goals all the time for England, which I was judged on.”
Six years after his international retirement, Scholes was begged to return when Capello was in charge of England.
The 47-year-old recalled the time when he was phoned by Stuart Pearce, but decided against it as it felt “wrong”.
He said: “I was tempted to come back, you’d hear whispers all the time but there was only the one time really officially.
“It was before the World Cup in South Africa, I’d played well that season and they were struggling with a few injuries.
“Fabio Capello wanted me to come back, I got a phone call from Stuart Pearce who was on the staff.
“I had a few days to think about it and I felt I was playing well enough, I just decided that it was wrong.
“I hadn’t been involved in qualifying and there were other players who had been in the squad for two years, being away from their families.”
Scholes spent his entire club career with Manchester United, where he scored 155 goals in 718 appearances.
Sir Alex Ferguson played Scholes in a deeper midfield role, but he revealed he left England before he had the chance to play there for them.
He added: “Sir Alex Ferguson saw that he wanted me to play well into my 30s and I needed a different position.
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“I moved back and controlled games from midfield, sitting deep, and I was never that player for England.
“I ended up playing there for five or six years and looking back playing there from 30-35 was probably the most enjoyable part of my career.
“I really enjoyed that position, I wasn’t scoring goals but to sit back and control games, I really enjoyed it. I finished with England too early to progress in that position.”
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