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Just who was Ryan Giggs’ toughest ever opponent?

Giggs, Zanetti
3 Mar 1999: Javier Zanetti of Inter Milan and Ryan Giggs of Manchester United give chase during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. United won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Clive Brunskill /Allsport

Ryan Giggs has named his toughest ever opponent, and his choice may surprise many.

Ryan Giggs enjoyed a top-flight career, that saw him play for Manchester United’s first team for 23 years.

Over those years, he played over 900 games, and against many a formidable opponent.

The likes of Ronaldo Nazario, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Andrea Pirlo and Lionel Messi to name but a few.

However, when the retired Manchester United legend was asked who his toughest opponent was there was not a minute hesitation in the Welsh wizard’s response.

In an online Q&A session with the club’s official website, Giggs answered quickly:

“The hardest player I’ve played against was Zanetti for Inter Milan.”

“He’d just run all day.”

“He used to play in midfield so he was comfortable on the ball. He could defend.”

“He was tough, he actually broke my nose in the quarter-finals.”

“Zanetti had everything as a defender.”

The Argentine may not be in the realms of Zidane, Ronaldo, and Messi, but he was no slouch, especially in the eyes of Inter Milan.