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Premier League Legends: Ryan Giggs

Manchester United v Wigan Athletic - Premier League
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Today we will remember Manchester United’s legendary left-winger, Ryan Giggs – arguably the greatest player in the history of English football.

The ultimate legend of Manchester United was born as Ryan Joseph Wilson on 29 November 1973 in Cardiff – the capital of Wales. Ryan moved to Manchester with his family at the age of six, when his father Danny Wilson, a former rugby player joined Swinton RLFC.

He joined the Manchester City Football Academy in 1985, but two years later moved to their neighbors United, where he stayed for the remainder of his playing career.

Giggs was part of Manchester United’s famous Class of ’92, together with Neville brothers, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Nicky Butt.

He made his League debut for the Red Devils as a substitute against Everton in March 1991 at the age of 17 and established himself as a regular first-team player from the following season.

The talented teenager, who went by the nickname ‘The Welsh Wizard’ won the PFA Young Player of the Year award twice – in 1992 and 1993.

‘Giggsy‘ was part of the Manchester United side which became the first team to win the newly formed Premier League in 1993. It was their first League title win in 26 years and the start of their domestic domination under the leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson.

The winger played a vital role for Ferguson’s side over the years, guiding the club on and off the field. He was one of the strongest characters in United’s dressing room, always demanding the best of his teammates.

He was an extremely quick footballer in his early years as a professional, known for his pace and amazing dribbling skills.

His crossing and passing range were also perfect, as the Welshman managed to provide 162 assists for his teammates, setting the record for the most assists in Premier League’s history.

In April 1999, Giggs scored a magical solo goal in a FA Cup semi-final replay against Arsenal at Villa Park. It was probably the greatest goal of his career, as he sent United into the Final, and they went on to win the Premier League, FA Cup and the Champions League at the end of the season, becoming the first English side to achieve the Treble.

Ryan set several records for the Red Devils in the 24 years he spent at Old Trafford. He came on as a substitute in the 2008 Champions League Final against Chelsea, to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 758 appearances for Manchester United.

The winger won his second European crown that night in Moscow, as United beat Chelsea after a thrilling penalty shootout.

In his final season with the club in 2013-14, Giggs was named as a player-coach, as part of the coaching staff under new manager David Moyes.

However, Moyes was sacked in April 2014 after a disappointing season with the Red Devils and the Welshman took over as the club’s interim player-manager until the end of the season.

He retired from professional football in May, but stayed at Old Trafford, after being appointed as Louis van Gaal’s assistant manager in the summer of 2014.

‘Giggsy’ finished his amazing career as the most decorated player in football history, winning 34 trophies with Manchester United, including a record 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two Champions League crowns.

The Welshman is the only player to have played in 22 successive Premier League seasons and the only player to have scored in 21 successive Premier League seasons, failing to find the net only in his final season at Old Trafford.

He played a total of 963 games for the Red Devils, setting the record for most appearances by a Manchester United player in the history of the club.

At the international level, Ryan Giggs made 62 appearances for the Welsh national team but never played at a major international tournament. He is currently working as the manager of Wales, leading them in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers.