Giggs Has Been Tearing Honors Apart For 20 Years
With yet another amazing accomplishment to his name, Ryan Giggs celebrates his 20th anniversary of making his English top-flight debut for Manchester United. In conjunction with his anniversary as a professional, Giggs has also equaled Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time league appearance record for United, of 606, with his substitute cameo against Chelsea, which most experts thought was an untouchable statistic.
Giggs has eclipsed so many records, and received so many awards over the last 20 years that United supporters seem to think this almost a foregone conclusion that he will topple any other record that comes within his sights. Sir Alex Ferguson knew he had an unearthed a rare gem when he first witnessed Giggs, Ryan Wilson at that time, effortlessly glide passed opposing players his own age with complete ease and perfection, but even the Gaffer could not have predicted the success the winger would have at the highest level.
Since making his first-team debut on March 2, 1991, Giggs has gone on to collect 11 Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the Football League Cup four times each, the UEFA Champions League twice, the UEFA Super Cup, the Intercontinental Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup and the FA Community Shield eight times for a total of 32 team medals.
Without question he has become Britain’s most decorated player, in terms of team medals won, but that has not stopped Giggs from wanting more and more success, which is half of the reason why he has already extended his United contract to play next season.
To further prove his burning, almost addictive, desire to win silverware, Giggsy said in a recent interview that it “p****d him off” that Chelsea won the FA Cup and Premier League double last season, which underlines his burning desire and passion to be the greatest ever professional.
Giggs is one of the three pillars that make up the modern day Manchester United ‘Holy Trinity’ along with Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, but, while the other seem to attract negative statements from opposing managers, the Welshman continues to get praise after praise. The reason is not because Neville’s boisterous passion or Scholes’ alleged “dark side,” but simply that Giggs has a demeanor that constitutes him as a gentleman on the field.
There have been times that Giggs has voiced his concerns about a decision that went against United, but his non-aggressive, soft-spoken approach seems to give him that pass – and, amazingly, he has never been sent off for Manchester United.
Even though, Giggs has the respect, which is the ultimate compliment, of his peers and managers, he has constantly been overlooked for all of the major individual awards that his accomplishments have surely deserved. To his credit, Giggs has never shown, at least outwardly, that that lack of acknowledgment has bothered him in the least, but the Welsh Wizard could very well be using that as the fuel to continue his ever-lasting career.
With his appearance in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final, Giggs surpassed Charlton as United’s all-time appearance record holder with 759, but, to date, the Welshman has gone on to appear in 863 matches for the Reds. Giggs has one more appearance record in his crosshairs, and that is David James’ Premier League record of 573, which he needs just eight more appearances to snatch it away.
In his 566 Premier League appearances, Giggs has amassed 95 assists, which is 12 ahead of his closest competitor, Frank Lampard, and the left-footed winger is also ranked 17th on the all-time scoring list with 105 goals to his name.
With all of the records, goals and assists that the Giggs has compiled over the last 20 seasons, there is something that does not wind up in the stat columns that is the most valuable. Sir Alex knows just how influential and inspiring Giggs, along with Scholes, can be, which is why he has been so keen to keep him going as long as possible.
Like Ferguson, Giggs has transcended the last couple of decades by changing the style of his game without losing the cutting edge and flair that has made him one of the most watchable players to ever play in the top flight of English football.
The guidance and advice that a player that has won and endured so much over his long career can, without question, be very beneficial to all of the young players at United who are willing to listen.
Right now there is no telling when Giggs’ career will ever come to an end, and when coupled with the club merry-go-round that modern-day footballers like to play, it looks increasingly unlikely that any player will ever topple this amazing record at United. Over the first 20 years of his Old Trafford career, Ryan Giggs has been one of the model servants that Manchester United has ever had, but, even at 37, he is showing that there is still a lot more to come from this ever-green, living legend.
Submitted by The United Religion
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