Veteran Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has confirmed that he turned down an invitation to return to the England fold for the World Cup finals in South Africa.
The 35-year-old, who scored 14 times in 66 appearances before bowing out of the international scene in August 2004, was sounded out for a return to action, but opted against one final hurrah.
He told the Oldham Evening Chronicle:"It's a big decision and I wasn't really given enough time to think about it, so I decided not to take up the offer.
"If they'd asked me earlier I probably would have accepted.
"There are players in the squad who have spent nearly two years flying all around the world helping England qualify for the World Cup, whereas I haven't been involved for a long time.
"It wasn't a case of wanting to go on holiday, it was the fact that I got the call so close to the tournament and also I didn't want to take the place of someone who helped get England to South Africa.
"The idea just didn't sit comfortably with me."