Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes admits he did consider coming out of international retirement under new England coach Steve McClaren.
Scholes, 31, quit after Euro 2004 but has twice been contacted by McClaren who wants him to change his mind.
“It certainly wasn’t a straightforward decision,” said Scholes. “I thought about it, but decided against it. It’s flattering when the England boss asks you to go back, but basically I decided I didn’t need to go back.”
Scholes has been a vital part of United’s table-topping side so far this season, but says he is not completely satisfied with the way he has been playing.
He added: “I have played a lot better than I am at the moment. I am frustrated at not scoring many goals for a start. I like scoring but I only have two so far. I would like it to be more.”
Scholes’ decision not to end his England exile is supported by United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who knows just how important he is to the Old Trafford club.
“When you are in your 30s it is not easy to trek all over Europe playing for your country,” said the Scot.
“Sometimes in international football you can be away for eight or nine days at a time with double headers in qualifying games. That is a lot of football and something you have to consider seriously, particularly if you value family life and I think that was partly behind Paul’s decision.”