Ryan Giggs signed a one-year extension today ensuring a 24th season, one that will take him beyond his 40th birthday.
Look, there isn’t much left to be said about the man that will have played 1,000 (senior) games when Manchester United hosts Norwich City tomorrow. There isn’t much left to be said about a player that inspired the phrase ‘twisted blood.’
Over at the Guardian, Daniel Taylor has a great write up on the Welshman’s marvelous career. My favourite quote comes from Ipswich Town striker James Scowcroft:
“He was playing up front with [Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer and every time the ball came into Giggs’s feet he’d flick it between his legs then run round the other side of the defender with that blistering pace. I can remember at half-time our assistant manager, Dale Roberts, going mad at the centre-halves: ‘Any f****** chance you can get tighter on Giggs?’ and Mark Venus shouting back: ‘You try getting fucking near him.’ We were in shock.”
Giggs has made 931 appearances for Manchester United, 64 or Wales and games for Team GB–memories– during a career that has included 12 Prem league titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, two Champions Leagues crowns, one Super Cup, an Intercontinental Cup and a Club World Cup. He’s also scored in 23 consecutive seasons.
Giggs’ off the field problems are a blemish on an otherwise sublime career but we, fans of the game, have the ability to separate professional from citizen. Giggs has been hailed as an excellent teammate that acts as the leader of the United dressing room. Taylor notes the mention of three players leaves Ferguson’s eyes watering–Cantona, Ronaldo and Giggs. He’s also become the first pro to get his elite coaching badges while still playing.
I’ve been on the other side of classic Giggs performances. Performances that left me muttering expletives under my breath as Manchester United and their fans celebrated. That’s why he’s one of the best of all time. Those moments when you want to scream into your shirt but are left with just two words. Too good.
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Thanks to Alima Hotakie for compiling today’s links.