It is truly remarkable that today marks the start of Ryan Giggs’ third decade at Manchester United. He made his debut against Everton in 1991 and has gone on to break almost every record at United; last night he equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 606 league appearances.
It is highly unlikely that we will ever see anything like this again; a player remaining at one of the biggest clubs in the world for 20 years and still being an integral part of the squad. He has won almost everything there is to win in the game and is still hungrier than many of the younger players around. In an interview I saw with him a few months ago he stated that he does not really remember the highlights, it is the disappointments that linger.
He is a lesson to any young player starting out in every way; the way he approaches the game, the way he plays it and the dedication to remain at the top for so long. When he initially burst into the spotlight he was an incredibly quick winger who could go passed you before you noticed he was there. The goal he scored against Arsenal in 1999 when he ran through their entire side is the perfect example of Giggs at his best.
As he has matured and lost that extra yard of pace he has adapted his game and become a far better footballer. He is capable of controlling games more than in his youth but he still has a change of pace; in the Manchester derby he raced passed Micah Richards at one point and left him trailing behind him.
He has signed another one year contract extension so we get to see him for one more season which is fantastic for all football fans. The Welshman has won 32 senior club honours as well as countless individual honours – the man is a Legend and will remain etched in United’s history forever.