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Podcast 23: Ryan Giggs

On this week’s show we take a look at one of the greatest players to have played in the Premier League: Ryan Giggs. We also:

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We’ve already mentioned how good a week it has been for Manchester United after their defeat of Chelsea and the man of the match in that game was the oldest player on the pitch, the player with most appearances for his club and the owner of more domestic honours than any other player in British history. Ever. Of course, we are talking about Manchester United and Wales’ star Ryan Giggs.

Giggs made his debut at 17 for Manchester United in the 1991 season and was part of the team known as ‘Fergie’s Fledglings’ – the group of players that emerged from the youth system at Old Trafford and included Phil and Gary Neville, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes. He established himself as a first team regular on the left wing the following season and since then has hardly ever been sidelined. His pace, close ball control and dribbling skills meant he was feared by defenders but he also worked hard and it was clear that he possessed a good football brain.

He scored his first goals for the club in 1992 which, incidentally was the inaugural year of the Premier League, and, remarkably, he has scored in that league every year since then – the only footballer to have done so. The following season he was part of the United team that won the League for the first time in more than 25 years. They retained the title the year after that and incredibly have gone on to win 10 of the last 15 Premier League championships – and yes, Giggs has 10 league winners’ medals, more than any other player in English football history. He also has four FA Cup winners’ medals – including three domestic doubles. He won 2 League Cups, 2 Champions Leagues, 2 World titles as well as a host of individual awards. He has scored over 100 league goals for the club and has almost 300 assists, which is a league record, as well as playing more than 100 times for United in the Champions League. Indeed, he holds the Manchester United appearance record which he took from Sir Bobby Charlton after last season’s Champions League final in Moscow. After last week’s matches he had played 782 times for the same club – amazing longevity and loyalty. Oh, he has never been red carded in any of those games for the Reds either. He also has 64 caps and 12 goals for his country and what a pity it was that he never managed to play in a Word Cup or European Championship final, though he has been mentioned on a Simpsons’ episode, something that Giggsy claims to be a highlight of his career.

But perhaps the standout moment of his career was the amazing goal he scored against Arsenal in the semi-final of the FA Cup in 1999 when Manchester United were down to ten men in extra time. The team were lifted and of course went on to win an unprecedented triple.

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