Paul Scholes has revealed he was given only two hours notice to decide whether to come out of retirement and play for England in the World Cup.
Scholes, who quit the international scene in 2004, said no after taking a phone call from manager Fabio Capello's right-hand man Franco Baldini the day before the squad was announced. He admits he might have travelled with the squad to South Africa if he had known earlier and he still had some regrets about not going.
Asked if two hours was little time to make a major decision, he said: ''That's what I thought. That's why I probably said no, not just because he had given me a couple of hours to think about it but the fact I needed a bit more time.
''I am not saying it definitely would have been (yes) in that case but I think it might have been. I did not expect it the call. It wasn't even on my mind. It wasn't until a week before the tournament you start seeing all the build up and thought maybe I made the wrong decision.
''I am not saying I would have made a difference. I am just saying it was a chance to play in the World Cup and I turned it down. I don't look back and think it didn't go well for England because I didn't go.
''Would I have joined up if Capello had called me? I don't know. Maybe it might have meant more.''
England went out of the World Cup at the last-16 stage following a 4-1 defeat by Germany in Bloemfontein and United striker Wayne Rooney failed to score in the tournament. Scholes, however, scoffed at suggestions his presence in the World Cup would have energised his team-mate.
He said: ''I am saying I might have made the wrong decision but I am not saying I would have made a difference. With regards to Wayne, I play with him every week. I know what he wants and the rest of the players know what he wants.
''I am not saying the England players don't know what he wants because he has been successful with them for the last four to six years. For some reason it did not work out for the team.''
Capello is not the only England manager who has failed to tempt Scholes out of retirement. Steve McClaren was also unsuccessful.
He quit six years ago and said: ''I had enough of being away at the time and I wanted to stay at home a bit more. I did say when I did retire I would never go back. Steve McClaren had asked me as well. That was it.
''I think it would have been tough on someone who had been over the qualifiers and through all the tough places they had to go and be away for ten days at a time. I don't think it would have been right.''
Scholes added: ''I really don't know if I am fresher for United having retired from internationals. I could have carried on playing for England, who knows, and I might have retired by now. I might feel the same. It is too difficult to say.''
hmmmmmmmm, interesting about Rooney... ah England reliably