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Bruised and battered England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is picking himself up off the floor again - and this time the devastating body blow has been delivered by one of his most important players.
Forty eight hours before the Swede learns whether he still has a job, Paul Scholes ripped up Eriksson's 2006 World Cup qualifying blueprint by announcing his international retirement.
Eriksson has spent the last month attempting to persuade the brilliant Manchester United midfielder against making Tuesday's stunning decision but, as he psyched himself up for a meeting with his FA inquisitors, the England coach on Tuesday learned he had failed.
An intensely private man, devoted to his wife and young family, Scholes has become increasingly disillusioned with life on the international scene and wondered whether it was worth the amount of time he was spending away from home.
He was unhappy about being away from home during the recent European Championships and with criticism of his performances from outside the England camp rising, the 29-year-old questioned his long-term England future.
Paul Scholes insists he harbours no regrets about his decision to retire from international football.
The Manchester United midfielder quit the England fold after last summer's European Championship in Portugal. Scholes scored 14 goals in 66 appearances for The Three Lions and there have been calls for the attack-minded midfielder to review his decision. England coach Sven Goran Eriksson has already asked Scholes to reconsider and the Swede has not ruled out badgering the 30-year-old to change his mind in the future.