Ryan Giggs is great, ain’t he? It’s his 40th birthday today and we thought we’d take a minute to salute his achievement.
It’s quite incredible really. I recently turned 30 and I’m finding I have to make quite difficult decisions – like considering carefully if I really want another beer, as getting up out of my comfy chair makes my knees creak. Bossing a Bayer Leverkusen midfield filled with sprightly young things at Champions League level couldn’t be further from my mind.
On the day when Ryan Giggs made his league debut for Manchester United at the age of 17 – on the 2nd of March 1991, Do the Bartman was UK #1, Serge Gainsbourg died (these two events might not be unrelated), and the Gulf War (the first one) ended.
Ryan Giggs, record breaker
Now playing in his 24th professional season for Manchester United, Ryan Giggs continues to break records. He’s the player with the most Premier League winners medals (13), the most Premier League appearances (626 so far) and is the only player to have scored in 21 consecutive Premier League seasons (that’s all of them).
Giggs also holds the records for most appearances for Manchester United, the most Champions League appearances, the most goals by a British player in the Champions League, and is the only player to have scored in 16 seasons of the Champions League.
In addition to his personal records, Giggs has won the Premier League 13 times, the FA Cup four times and the Champions League twice. He’s got an OBE for services to football, an honorary Master of Arts degree from Salford University (his thesis was on the Streisand effect) and has the freedom of the city of Salford. The freedom to leave, presumably. *ducks*
The Ryan Giggs 3D cube thing that took us all day to get working so you’d better really, really enjoy it.
When we decided to make this article, we got in touch with the wonderful Old School Panini to ask if they’d be interested in helping us make a fitting tribute to Ryan Giggs. They told us they really couldn’t be arsed with all that, but that we could use their images anyway, so thanks for that, chums.
Now that he’s reached 40, you might expect Ryan Giggs to finally retire at the end of this season. Giggs has already started on his coaching licences, but at this point, betting on him hanging up his boots any time soon could almost seem foolish.
Asked about Giggs after the Leverkusen game, David Moyes said :
“Some people have mentioned his age , but you can’t mention anything about his footballing ability, he’s an unbelievable footballer and is even getting better. His vision, his pass for Nani’s last goal – you wouldn’t say he needed to come off because of his fitness. He’s a wonderful footballer and I’m lucky to be working with him.
I got asked the question the other day about how long he’ll carry on and the situation with Ryan is that you keep playing. He’ll tell us when he thinks he’s had enough, but he keeps training, he keeps playing and his performances have been excellent.”
Which says it all really. Happy Birthday, Ryan Giggs!
*OK we lied slightly about a photo from every season of his career, as there doesn’t seem to have been a sticker for him in the 1990-91 season. If you find one, make sure to let us know! Also, the 1995-96 sticker is clearly just a cropped version of the previous season’s, so don’t blame us! Also also, we’re only joking, Old School Panini, love ya really.