The man is an undisputed football legend – not only with Manchester United fans but right throughout the game. The next time Ryan Giggs steps onto the field in a Premier League match will be appearance number 600 in the top division including 40 in the old First Division, and it may come as early as this weekend at White Hart Lane. Spurs manager Harry Redknapp paid tribute to the 37 year old in the lead up to Sunday’s clash saying that “He’s a credit to the game for sure” Redknapp said “he’s just a great player and a great lad. I don’t know him very well but he’s a class act on the pitch and off the pitch. He’s an amazing fellow.”
Sir Bobby Charlton currently holds the club record with 606 league matches so barring injuries, Giggs looks likely to break it by the end of this season. His boss at Old Trafford Sir Alex Ferguson is in awe of a player who has never played for any other club manager “He’s just an incredible human being, he defies the logic of a forward playing at the level he did last Sunday”
The Welsh wizard has made a total of over 850 senior appearances for United and credits his longevity in the game to a change of lifestyle as he approached the veteran phase of his career admitting “I did change a lot when I was 29-30. I started drinking less alcohol, eating the right things and resting a lot more but yoga was probably the biggest part” he said “you can feel it working and you can feel the benefits straight away. It’s been a massive reason behind me playing on as long as I have”
“My body feels so much better having done the yoga’ he explained “I still get the odd hamstring strain, which you are going to get playing football, but it wasn’t about curing the problem, but making it less frequent. I wish I had done it from the start of my career.” Giggs admitted
“But I’ve been lucky” he said “I’ve played 800 odd games for United. I used to get my hamstring injuries when I was flying and I was confident. You get it when you are flying. It was always in the back of my mind that my hamstrings may go. You were always conscious about that, where as now you just go out and play.”
Ferguson cannot speak highly enough of the veteran’s performance in last Sunday’s FA Cup defeat of Liverpool saying “He’s got that capability and fitness, his fitness was fantastic last week – he was going for the whole 90 minutes up and down the pitch, and he’s been doing that for two decades. There is no other player that’s ever done that or ever likely to do that. He’s quite an amazing man.”
“Obviously, we know how to manage him now and he doesn’t play every week” Sir Alex said “but when he does he makes a contribution that lifts the team and I think he did that particularly in the second half last week, he was outstanding. We’ve lost Park Ji-sung for seven matches, therefore keeping Ryan fresh is going to be the secret for us.”
Will Giggs be backing up for another season at the end of this one? Nobody knows for certain, possibly not even Ferguson or himself. But if I was a betting man, I’ll have no hesitation in having a small wager on it.
Do you expect Giggs to extend his contract for another season?