Manchester United's Scholes waves to the crowd with his family after his testimonial soccer match against New York Cosmos in Manchester.

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Paul Scholes played his final match for Manchester United, marking his farewell in a 6-0 win over New York Cosmos in his testimonial match.

The 36-year-old opened the scoring with a trademark 20-yard strike, evoking memories of a glittering career lasting 17 years in which he made 676 appearances for Manchester United and scoring 150 goals.

He was substituted on 75 minutes, sparking an emotional standing ovation from the sell-out crowd at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson honoured the player by deploying a full strength squad alongside him, despite a community shield encounter with Manchester City on Sunday.

The New York Cosmos featured an invitational team including Scholes' former teammates - Gary Neville and Nicky Butt. The Cosmos also brought with the them United legend Eric Cantona, who received a massive response from the crowd, more so than Brazilian legend Pele who is a part of Cosmos' promotional drive.

Early on in the game, Scholes received the ball outside the box and with the crowd inviting him to shoot, he did just that, giving Brad Friedel no chance. Those trademark strike will be something football will badly miss from a player who has been widely regarded as the best central midfielder in the past decade.

Reportedly, Barcelona player Xavi and Andres Iniesta, who are known for their admiration of Scholes, wanted to be part of the testimonial but was unable to do so due to commitments to Barcelona's pre-season preparations.

The man who Zinedine Zidane described as "my toughest opponent" made his debut for United in 1994, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over Port Vale in the League Cup.

"To my mind Scholes will go down as one of the greatest players of all time for Manchester United." Ferguson said, paying tribute to Scholes.

Scholes will now join United's coaching staff and will do his bit to help Ferguson and the team.

After 676 glorious games, it was a typically shy and modest Scholes who spoke after returning to the pitch after the game to acknowledge the crowd.

"The goal was nice. I just hope I've given the fans some decent memories. I just want to say 'thank you' to everyone," Scholes modestly said. "I've been privileged to play with so many good players at this club, it's been a great pleasure. (Thank you) to my family, who mean the world to me and also the people who organised tonight as I know how much hard work has gone into this."