Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson accepts Paul Scholes will hang up his boots at the end of next season.
Ferguson feels his flame-haired midfielder still has the quality at 34 to push on towards 700 appearances, but knows the player is determined to retire next summer when his contract expires.
The United boss may have been able to persuade another golden oldie at Old Trafford in Edwin van der Sar to postpone his pipe and slipper plans, but Scholes is very much his own man.
"Paul usually says what he means and means what he says," he said.
"There is no question about that."