Born 40-years-ago in Cardiff, Wales, Ryan Giggs is one of those players that football will never forget. The Manchester United player-coach is in his 24th season with the Red Devils and shows no sign of decline. Despite having won everything, the Welshman is still going and seems like he could play forever.
Ryan Giggs is with Teddy Sheringham, Gordon Strachan and Kevin Phillips the only Premier League player to reach 40 years old. The Welshman has played for United 953 times since his debut on March 2, 1991 against Everton under Sir Alex Ferguson and has never been shown a red card. In 24 seasons as a Red Devil, Giggsy as he is called by the Manchester United fans has won thirteen Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two UEFA Champion’s Leagues, one FIFA club World Cup and a countless number of individual awards including the PFA Players’ player of the year award for the 2008-09 season.
Time seems to have no effect on Giggs who was brilliant on Wednesday in Manchester United’s Champion’s League victory against Bayern Leverkusen. His experience, intelligence and knowledge of the club convinced new manager David Moyes to offer him a player-coach position. Despite his age, Giggs remains a key man for United, the perfect link between Moyes and the players. The Scottish manager hailed him as ”the best ever Premier League player”.
In 24 seasons at Manchester United, Giggs has seen many players come and go. Most of them have either left the club or retired but Giggs has chosen to remain faithful to his lifelong club. David Beckham, Paul Scholes, the Neville brothers Gary and Phil who started their career after him have all retired. The Welshman whose contract is up at the end of the season has gone from being a flying left-winger to a composed central midfielder. On Wednesday against Leverkusen, Giggs was the third United player that covered the most ground showing that even at 40 years old, he’s still got a lot to offer. His vision, passing accuracy, composure and ability to create goal scoring opportunities helped United secure an easy 5-0 win and book a spot for the next round of the Champion’s League.
At 40 years old, Ryan Giggs is probably playing his last season as a Manchester United player. The legendary Welshman, who has already started the transition into coaching, will probably retire at the end of the season ending an exceptional career. All good things have an end even though we all wish Ryan Giggs’ career could go on forever.