Ryan Giggs

Ryan Joseph Giggs OBE (born Wilson; born 29 November 1973)[3] is a Welsh football coach and former player. He is the manager of the Wales national team and a co-owner of Salford City. He played his entire professional career for Manchester United and briefly served as the club's interim manager.

The son of rugby union and Wales international rugby league footballer Danny Wilson, Giggs was born in Cardiff but moved to Manchester at the age of six when his father joined Swinton RLFC. Predominantly a left winger, he began his career with Manchester City, but joined Manchester United on his 14th birthday in 1987. He made his professional debut for the club in 1991 and spent the next 23 years in the Manchester United first team. At the end of the 2013–14 season, he was named as Manchester United's interim player-manager following the sacking of David Moyes. He was named as assistant manager under Moyes' permanent replacement, Louis van Gaal, on 19 May 2014; he retired from playing the same day. He holds the club record for competitive appearances. At international level, Giggs played for the Wales national team 64 times between 1991 and 2007, and was named as the captain of the Great Britain team that competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He is one of only 28 players to have made over 1,000 career appearances.[4][5][6][7]

During his time at United, Giggs won 13 Premier League winner's medals, four FA Cup winner's medals, three League Cup winner's medals, two UEFA Champions League winner's medals, a FIFA Club World Cup winners medal, an Intercontinental Cup winner's medal, a UEFA Super Cup winner's medal and nine FA Community Shield winner's medals. Manchester United and Liverpool are the only clubs in English football history to have won more league championships than Giggs.[8] Giggs captained United on numerous occasions, particularly in the 2007–08 season when regular captain Gary Neville was ruled out with various injuries.

Giggs also has a number of personal achievements. He was the first player in history to win two consecutive PFA Young Player of the Year awards (1992 and 1993), though he did not win the PFA Player of the Year award until 2009. He was the only player to play in each of the first 22 seasons of the Premier League, as well as the only player to score in each of the first 21 seasons. He was elected into the PFA Team of the Century in 2007, the Premier League Team of the Decade in 2003, as well as the FA Cup Team of the Century. Giggs holds the record for the most assists in Premier League history, with 271. He was named as BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2009. In addition to the many honours Giggs has received within football, he was appointed an OBE in the Queen's 2007 Birthday Honours List for his services to football.

Ryan Giggs
OBE
Cskamu 17
Giggs with Manchester United in 2015
Personal information
Full name Ryan Joseph Giggs[1]
Birth name Ryan Joseph Wilson
Date of birth 29 November 1973 (age 45)
Place of birth Canton, Cardiff, Wales
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.79 m)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Wales (manager)
Youth career
1985–1987 Manchester City
1987–1990 Manchester United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1990–2014 Manchester United 672 (114)
National team
1989 England Schoolboys 1 (1)
1989 Wales U18 3 (0)
1991 Wales U21 1 (0)
1991–2007 Wales 64 (12)
2012 Great Britain 4 (1)
Teams managed
2014 Manchester United (interim)
2014–2016 Manchester United (assistant)
2018– Wales
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Early years

Giggs was born at St David's Hospital in Canton, Cardiff, to Danny Wilson, a rugby union player for Cardiff RFC, and Lynne Giggs (now Lynne Johnson). Giggs is mixed race – his paternal grandfather is from Sierra Leone – and has spoken of the racism he faced as a child.[9] As a child, Giggs grew up in Ely, a suburb of western Cardiff. His younger brother, Rhodri, is a former manager of non-league Salford City.

He spent much time with his mother's parents and playing football and rugby league on the roads outside their house in Pentrebane. In 1980, when Giggs was six years old, his father switched from rugby union to rugby league, and signed for Swinton RLFC, forcing the whole family to move north to Swinton, a town in Salford, Greater Manchester. The move was a traumatic one, as Giggs was very close to his grandparents in Cardiff, but he would often return there with his family at weekends or on school holidays.

After moving to Salford, Giggs appeared for the local team, Deans FC, who were coached by Manchester City scout Dennis Schofield. Schofield recommended Giggs to Manchester City, and he was signed up to their School of Excellence.[10] Meanwhile, Giggs continued to play for Salford Boys, who went on to reach the final of the Granada Schools Cup competition at Anfield in 1987. Giggs captained the Salford team to victory over their Blackburn counterparts, was man of the match, and the trophy was presented to him by Liverpool chief scout Ron Yeats.[11] Giggs also played rugby league at schoolboy level.[12]

While playing for Deans, Giggs was observed regularly by local newsagent and Old Trafford steward Harold Wood. Wood spoke personally to Alex Ferguson who sent a scout, and Giggs was eventually offered a trial over the 1986 Christmas period. Giggs played in a match for Salford Boys against a United Under-15s side at The Cliff and scored a hat-trick, with Ferguson watching from his office window. On 29 November 1987 (his 14th birthday), Ferguson turned up at Giggs' house with United scout Joe Brown and offered him two years on associate schoolboy forms. They offered to waive YTS forms, and persuaded Giggs to sign by offering the opportunity to turn professional in three years. Using the name Ryan Wilson, Giggs captained England at schoolboy level, playing at Wembley Stadium against Germany in 1989.[13] He changed his surname to that of his mother at the age of 16, when his mother remarried, two years after his parents' separation.[14]

Manchester United

1990–1995: Debut and early career

Giggs was offered his first professional contract on 29 November 1990 (his 17th birthday). He accepted the contract and became a professional two days later (1 December 1990).

At this time, United had recently won the FA Cup – their first major trophy since the appointment of Alex Ferguson as manager in November 1986. After two seasons in the league where they had finished mid table, they were finally starting to threaten the dominance of Liverpool and Arsenal, though they only managed to finish sixth that season. Ferguson's quest for a successful left winger had not been an easy one since the departure of Jesper Olsen two years earlier; he had initially signed Ralph Milne, but the player was not a success at United and lasted just one season in the first team before Ferguson secured the Southampton winger Danny Wallace in September 1989. Wallace had failed to shine at Old Trafford, and by the time Giggs turned professional Wallace was contending with 19-year-old Lee Sharpe for the role of first choice left winger.

Giggs made his League debut against Everton at Old Trafford on 2 March 1991, as a substitute for the injured full-back Denis Irwin in a 2–0 defeat.[4] In his first full start, Giggs was credited with his first ever goal in a 1–0 win in the Manchester derby on 4 May 1991, though it appeared to be a Colin Hendry own goal. However, he was not included in the squad of 16 that defeated Barcelona in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final 11 days later. Lee Sharpe, who had won the race to displace Danny Wallace, took to the field as United's left winger, while Wallace was selected as a substitute. Giggs became a first-team regular early in the 1991–92 season, yet remained active with the youth system and captained the team, made up of many of "Fergie's Fledglings," to an FA Youth Cup triumph in 1992.

Giggs broke into the first team even though he was still aged only 17, and paved the way as the first of many Manchester United youth players to rise into the first team under Ferguson. As the youngest member of the United first-team squad, Giggs looked to the older players such as Bryan Robson for advice. Robson recommended that Giggs sign up with Harry Swales, the agent that he himself had inherited from Kevin Keegan.[15]

That season, Giggs played in the team that finished as runners-up to Leeds United in the final year of the old First Division before the advent of the Premier League. United had led the table for much of the season before a run of dismal results in April saw them overtaken by the West Yorkshire side. Giggs collected his first piece of silverware on 12 April 1992 as United defeated Nottingham Forest in the League Cup Final, after Giggs had set up Brian McClair to score the only goal of the game. At the end of the season, he was voted PFA Young Player of the Year – the award which had been credited to his colleague Lee Sharpe a year earlier.

By the start of the 1992–93 season, the first season of the newly formed Premier League, Giggs had ousted Sharpe to become United's first-choice left winger. He was recognised as one of English football's two best emerging young wingers, alongside Steve McManaman,[16] who were notable for being a throwback to the Stanley Matthews era of the 1950s winger.[17] Giggs helped United to their first top-division title win for 26 years.

His emergence and the arrival of Eric Cantona heralded the dominance of United in the Premier League. Ferguson was protective of him, refusing to allow Giggs to be interviewed until he turned 20, eventually granting the first interview to the BBC's Des Lynam for Match of the Day in the 1993–94 season. United won the double that season, and Giggs was one of their key players alongside the likes of Cantona, Paul Ince and Mark Hughes. Giggs also played for United in the Football League Cup final, where they lost 3–1 to Aston Villa.

Off the pitch, newspapers claimed Giggs had "single-handedly revolutionised football's image" when he appeared as teenager "with pace to burn, a bramble patch of black hair bouncing around his puppy popstar face, and a dazzling, gluey relationship between his impossibly fleet left foot and a football."[18] As a result of this, he was afforded many opportunities not normally offered to footballers at his young age, such as hosting his own television show, Ryan Giggs' Soccer Skills, which aired in 1994, and also had a book based on the series. Giggs was part of the Premier League's attempt to market itself globally, and he featured on countless football and lad mag covers, becoming a household name and fuelling the era where footballers started to become celebrity idols on a par with pop stars,[19] in and around the mid to late 1990s. Despite his aversion to attention, Giggs also became a teenage pin-up and was once described as the "Premiership's First Poster Boy,"[20] and the "boy wonder."[21] He was hailed as the first football star to capture the public imagination in a way unseen since the days of George Best;[22] the irony was that Best and Bobby Charlton used to describe Giggs as their favourite young player, turning up at The Cliff training ground just to watch him. Best once quipped, "One day they might even say that I was another Ryan Giggs."[22]

At the end of the 1993–94 season, Giggs won a second title in a row, and became the first player in history to win two consecutive PFA Young Player of the Year awards, a feat equalled by Robbie Fowler and Wayne Rooney.[23]

Giggs proved to be a scorer of great goals, with many of them being shortlisted for various Goal of the Season awards. Widely regarded as among his best were those against Queens Park Rangers in 1993, Tottenham in 1994, Everton in 1995, Coventry in 1996, and his solo effort against Arsenal in the replay of the 1999 FA Cup semi-final. During extra time, Giggs picked up possession after Patrick Vieira gave the ball away, then ran from his own half, dribbled past the whole Arsenal back line, including Tony Adams, Lee Dixon and Martin Keown before launching his left-footed strike just under David Seaman's bar and beyond his reach. He famously whipped off his shirt during his goal celebration as he ran over to his teammates. It also has the distinction of being the last ever goal scored in an FA Cup semi-final replay as, from the following season, the FA Cup semi-finals are decided in a single game, with extra time and a penalty shootout if required.[24]

1995–2000

1994–95 saw Giggs restricted through injury to 29 Premier League games and only 1 goal. Later in the season he recovered his form and fitness, though it was too late to help United to any major trophies. A failure to beat West Ham United on the final day of the season saw them lose the Premier League title to Blackburn Rovers. A week later, Giggs came on as a substitute in the FA Cup final against Everton, but United lost 1–0.

On a more positive side in the 1994–95 season, Giggs did get on the scoresheet twice in the opening Champions League game against IFK Göteborg (a 4–2 win, although United ultimately failed to progress to the quarter-finals) and also managed a goal in the FA Cup fourth around victory over Wrexham, meaning that he had managed four goals in all competitions that season.

In 1995–96, Giggs returned to full form and played a vital part in United's unique second double, with his goal against Everton at Goodison Park on 9 September 1995 being shortlisted for the "goal of the season" award, though it was eventually beaten by a goal by Manchester City's Georgi Kinkladze. In November that season, Giggs scored two goals in a Premier League match against Southampton, where United won 4–1 to keep up the pressure on a Newcastle United side who actually went ten points clear on 23 December but were finally overhauled by United in mid-March. Giggs was also in the side for United's FA Cup final win over Liverpool on 11 May 1996, though Eric Cantona scored the only goal of the game. By now, Giggs had several new key colleagues in youngsters Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, David Beckham and Paul Scholes. Beckham took over from Andrei Kanchelskis on the right wing and Butt succeeded Paul Ince in central midfield to complete a new look United midfield along with Giggs and Roy Keane.

The following season, Giggs had his first real chance to shine in Europe. Having played a key role in United winning their third league title in four seasons, he helped them reach the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, the first United side in 28 years to achieve this. However, their hopes of European glory were ended by Borussia Dortmund, who edged them out by winning each leg of the semi-final 1–0. At the end of this season, Juventus' Alessandro Del Piero told Italian media that Giggs was one of his two favourite players, and gave the following memorable quote:

I have cried twice in my life watching a football player; the first one was Roberto Baggio and the second was Ryan Giggs.[25]

In 1997–98, United were pipped to the Premier League title by Arsenal, following a dismal run of form in March and early April, leaving them without a trophy for only the second time since 1989. The following season, Giggs missed a lot of games through injury, but when he was fit his form was excellent and he played in both of United's cup finals that season. Memorable moments were his extra-time goal in the FA Cup semi-final against arch-rivals Arsenal giving United a 2–1 win,[26] and his 90th-minute equaliser in the home leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final against Juventus.

The highpoint in the 1998–99 season was when Giggs set up the equalising goal scored by Teddy Sheringham in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final that set United on their way to the Treble.

Giggs was also the Man of the Match as United beat Palmeiras 1–0 to claim the Intercontinental Cup later that year.[27]

2000–2005

Giggs became United's longest serving player when Denis Irwin left in May 2002, and he became a pivotal part of the club, despite still being in his 20s. Giggs continued to excel in the four years that followed the Treble triumph of 1999. United were Premier League champions in three of the four seasons following the treble, as well as reaching the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals three times and the semi-finals once. In April 2001, he signed a new five-year contract.[28]

Giggs celebrated his 10-year anniversary at Old Trafford with a testimonial match against Celtic at the start of the 2001–02 campaign, losing 4–3 in a game featuring a cameo by Eric Cantona.[29][30] However, this was one of the most disappointing seasons United had endured since Giggs made his debut, as a dismal run of form in early winter ultimately cost them the league title and they were surprisingly knocked out of the Champions League on away goals in the semi finals by German underdogs Bayer Leverkusen. A year later, on 23 August 2002, he bagged his 100th career goal in a draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.[31]

The 2002–03 season was one to forget for Giggs. He was forced to defend his poor form, insisting that he was not finished.[32][33] This dip in form included being booed off the pitch in the 74th minute of a 1–1 semi-final first leg draw at home to Blackburn Rovers in the Worthington Cup on 7 January[34][35] and an open-goal miss during a 2–0 defeat against Arsenal in the FA Cup on 16 February that was described as the worst of his career, and prompted chants by the Arsenal fans of "Give it to Giggsy."[36][37] A week later, on 24 February, Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon refused to rule out the possibility of Giggs leaving Old Trafford, saying: "It's too soon to say whether we would even consider a bid, and all we want to do at the moment is concentrate on this season." It was further claimed that a rift in the dressing room was contributing towards Giggs' possible departure.[38] However, the following day, Giggs played one of his most memorable games, in a 3–0 victory against Juventus. After coming on as a substitute for Diego Forlán in the eighth minute, Giggs scored twice,[39][40] including a goal that would later be heralded as one of his greatest goals and one of his finest Champions League moments.[41][42]

After speculation all season that Giggs was close to joining Italian club Inter Milan, possibly with Brazilian striker Adriano as a makeweight,[35][43][44] Giggs quashed the rumours by saying he was happy at United.[35][45]

He played in his fourth FA Cup triumph on 22 May 2004, making him one of only two players (the other being Roy Keane) to have won the trophy four times while playing for Manchester United. He has also finished with a runners-up medal three times (1995, 2005 and 2007). His participation in the victory over Liverpool in September 2004 made him the third player to play 600 games for United, alongside Sir Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes. He was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2005 in recognition of his contribution to the English game.[46]

In 2005, Giggs' form had improved and was no longer suffering with the hamstring injuries which had plagued his career,[47] which he attributed to taking up yoga.[48]

2005–2010

Giggs cropped
As his career progressed, Giggs abandoned his position on the left wing for a more central role.

Giggs signed a two-year contract extension with United when chief executive David Gill relented on his normal policy of not signing players over 30 to contracts longer than one year. Giggs benefited from being largely injury-free aside from a series of hamstring problems.

Giggs scored his first goal of the 2006–07 season in a 2–1 victory over Watford on 26 August 2006, with his goal proving to be the winner.[49] Giggs scored the winner in United's next game, a 1–0 home victory over Tottenham Hotspur on 9 September, scoring a header in the eighth minute.[50] Giggs provided a goal and an assist in the final Champions League group game against Benfica on 6 December, with his free-kick being converted by Nemanja Vidić before Giggs headed in a Cristiano Ronaldo cross.[51]

In February 2007, Giggs scored the final three goals of his season. He scored the final goal in a 4–0 away win against Tottenham on 4 February which put United six points clear of Chelsea.[52] On 20 February, Giggs scored the winning goal against Lille in the Champions League with a quickly taken free-kick that caused the Lille players to walk off the pitch in protest.[53] Giggs later said he was amazed by the situation, as no rule had been broken.[54] On 24 February, Giggs scored the equalising goal against Fulham in a game which United went on to win via a late Cristiano Ronaldo winner to go nine points clear of Chelsea.[55]

On 6 May 2007, with Chelsea only able to manage a 1–1 draw with London rivals Arsenal, Manchester United became the champions of England. In doing so, Giggs set a new record of nine league titles, beating the previous record of eight he shared with Alan Hansen and Phil Neal (who won all of their titles with Liverpool).[56] In the 2007 FA Cup Final, Giggs had a goal ruled out in the 14th minute of extra time after referee Steve Bennett deemed him to have fouled goalkeeper Petr Čech in forcing the ball across the line.[57]

Giggs played a starring role in United's 2007 FA Community Shield victory after netting in the first half to bring the game to a 1–1 draw, which led to penalty triumph for the Red Devils after 'keeper Edwin van der Sar saved all of Chelsea's first three penalties; the goal was Giggs' first professional goal at Wembley Stadium.[58][59]

Ryan Giggs vs Man City 2008
Seen here after the Munich air disaster 50th anniversary match against Manchester City in February 2008, Giggs has made more appearances in the Manchester derby than any other player.

In the 2007–08 season, Alex Ferguson adopted a rotation system between Giggs and newcomers Nani and Anderson.[60] Giggs scored his 100th league goal for United against Derby County on 8 December 2007, which United won 4–1.[61] More landmarks have been achieved: on 20 February 2008 he made his 100th appearance in the UEFA Champions League in a game against Lyon[62] and on 11 May 2008, he came on as a substitute for Park Ji-sung to equal Sir Bobby Charlton's record of 758 appearances for United.[63] Giggs scored the second goal in that match, sealing his, and United's, 10th Premier League title. Ten days later, on 21 May 2008, Giggs broke Bobby Charlton's appearance record for United when coming on as an 87th-minute substitute for Paul Scholes in the Champions League Final against Chelsea.[64] United won the final, defeating Chelsea 6–5 on penalties after a 1–1 draw after extra time, with Giggs converting the winning penalty in sudden death.

At the start of Manchester United's 2008–09 campaign, Sir Alex Ferguson began placing Giggs at central midfield, behind the forwards, instead of his favoured wing position. Sir Alex Ferguson said in an interview, "(Giggs) is a very valuable player, he will be 35 this November but at 35, he can be United's key player. At 25, Ryan would shatter defenders with his run down the flank, but at 35, he will play deeper."[65] Giggs has begun taking his coaching badges and Ferguson has hinted that he would like Giggs to serve as his coaching staff after retirement like Ole Gunnar Solskjær did.[66]

Ryan Giggs United
Giggs has played in the UEFA Champions League over 100 times.

Following speculation earlier in the year,[67] in February 2009, Giggs signed a one-year extension to his current contract – which was due to expire in June 2009.[68] After a successful season, Giggs was short-listed along with four other Manchester United teammates for the PFA Player of the Year.[69] On 26 April 2009, Giggs received the award, despite having started just 12 games throughout the 2008–09 season (at the time of receiving the trophy). This was the first time in his career that Giggs had received the award.[70] Prior to the awards ceremony, Alex Ferguson had given his backing for Giggs to win the award and stated that it would be fitting, given Giggs' long term contribution to the game.[71] Giggs made his 800th appearance for Manchester United on 29 April 2009, in the 1–0 semi-final win over Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League.[72] On 16 May 2009, Manchester United won the Premier League after a 0–0 draw against Arsenal, both United's and Giggs' 11th Premier League titles.

Giggs scored his first Manchester United hat-trick in a pre-season friendly against Hangzhou Greentown after coming on as a second-half substitute.[73]

Ryan Giggs vs Everton-5
Giggs before a corner kick against Everton at Old Trafford in 2009

On 12 September 2009, Giggs made his 700th start for United.[74] Giggs scored his 150th goal for United, only the ninth player to do so for the club, against Wolfsburg in his first Champions League game of the season. On 28 November 2009, the eve of his 36th birthday, Giggs scored his 100th Premier League goal – all for Manchester United – scoring the final goal in a 4–1 victory over Portsmouth at Fratton Park, and becoming only the 17th player to reach the milestone in the Premier League.[75]

On 30 November 2009, the day after his 36th birthday, it was reported that Giggs would be offered an additional one-year contract which would run until the end of the 2010–11 season and see him past the 20th anniversary of his first game and first goal for United. On the same day, Giggs was nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2009, which he subsequently won.[76] On 12 December 2009, Giggs' surpassed countryman Gary Speed's outfield record of 535 Premier League games. On 18 December 2009, Giggs signed a one-year contract extension with United, keeping him at the club until June 2011, taking him past the 20th anniversary of his first professional contract and that of his first-team debut – a rare occurrence of a player reaching the 20-year mark with the same club and with unbroken service.[77] On 31 December 2009, Giggs was named the Manchester United Player of the Decade.[78]

2010–2014

Ryan Giggs vs MLS All Stars 2010
Giggs playing for Manchester United in 2010

On 24 April 2010, Giggs scored the first ever league penalties of his career, netting two penalties in a 3–1 home win over Tottenham Hotspur.[79][80]

On 16 August 2010, Giggs kept up his record of scoring in every Premier League season since its inception as he netted United's third in their 3–0 home victory over Newcastle United in their opening fixture of the new campaign. As he found the net in the final two seasons of the old Football League First Division, he had now scored in 21 successive top division campaigns.[81] On 17 January 2011, Giggs reached 600 league appearances (all for Manchester United), as he played in their goalless draw against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.[82] Giggs signed a one-year contract extension with Manchester United on 18 February, keeping him at the club until June 2012.[83] On 6 March 2011, Giggs surpassed the Manchester United league appearance record of Bobby Charlton by playing his 607th game against Liverpool. On 26 April, against Schalke 04 in the Champions League semi-final first leg, Giggs scored the first goal from a Wayne Rooney pass, also making himself the oldest goalscorer in Champions League history to date.[84] Giggs also played in the 2011 Champions League final, where Manchester United were defeated 3–1 by Barcelona.[85]

Giggs made his first start of the 2011–12 season in the UEFA Champions League away at Benfica. He scored United's equalising goal in a 1–1 draw at the Estádio da Luz, in the process breaking his own record for the oldest goalscorer in Champions League history. He also became the first man ever to score in 16 different Champions League campaigns, moving clear of Raúl who was tied with Giggs on 15 seasons. Raúl though holds the record for scoring in 14 consecutive Champions league seasons. On 19 November, Giggs played in a league game in his home country of Wales for the first time in his distinguished career against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium in a United 1–0 win. Giggs maintained his record of scoring in each of the past 22 top-flight seasons by scoring United's third goal against Fulham at Craven Cottage in a 5–0 win on 21 December, his first of the season in the league. On 10 February 2012, Giggs signed a one-year contract extension with Manchester United.[86]

Ryan Giggs 1314
Giggs playing against his hometown club, Cardiff City, for the first time in November 2013

On 26 February 2012, Giggs made his 900th appearance for Manchester United, in a 2–1 away win against Norwich City. He marked the occasion by scoring the winning goal in the 90th minute, scoring from a cross by Ashley Young.[87] After the match, Alex Ferguson told BBC Sport he believed that a player playing in 900 games for one club "won't be done again."[88] By March 2011, Giggs had played with more than 140 different players for the Manchester United first team.[89]

On 19 October 2012, Giggs (just over a month short of his 39th birthday) told The Daily Telegraph that he would like to move into management when he retires as a player. He also said that he was still undecided on whether he would still be playing after the current football season ends.[90]

Giggs scored his first Premier League goal of the 2012–13 season against Everton on 10 February 2013 in a 2–0 home win, extending his goalscoring sequence to 23 consecutive seasons in the highest division including all 21 Premier League seasons.[91][92]

He signed a new one-year contract with Manchester United on 1 March 2013, keeping him at Old Trafford until June 2014.[93][94] On 5 March, Giggs made his 1,000th competitive appearance in a 2–1 home loss to Real Madrid in the second leg of the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League.[4] On 4 July, Giggs was appointed as player-coach by new manager David Moyes with immediate effect.[95][96] Giggs became interim player-manager when Moyes was sacked in April 2014.[97]

On 2 October, after coming off the substitute bench against Shakhtar Donetsk, Giggs became all-time leading appearance holder in the European competition, overtaking Raúl, an achievement he described as "special."[98][99] In November, Giggs celebrated his 40th birthday, leading to media outlets and football figures praising him for reaching the milestone while still an active professional footballer.[100][101][102][103][104]

Giggs announced his retirement from professional football on 19 May 2014 in an open letter to all Manchester United fans posted on the club website.[105][106] Upon retirement, Giggs received many plaudits for the achievements he earned throughout his career, and the longevity of it.[107][108][109][110][111]

International career

Giggs wales x brazil
Giggs played for Wales 64 times, but never at a major international tournament.

Born in Cardiff to Welsh parents, Giggs represented Wales at international level. As a youngster, Giggs captained England Schoolboys, but contrary to popular belief, he was never eligible for the full England team (eligibility at the schoolboy level depends solely upon the location of the school, in Giggs' case Moorside High School in Salford).[112] In October 2009, new rules were introduced for the Home Nations' associations that would have enabled Giggs to represent England had he not already represented Wales in an official competition,[113] but Giggs has always maintained that he would have chosen to play for Wales anyway; he stated in 2002, "I'd rather go through my career without qualifying for a major championship than play for a country where I wasn't born or which my parents didn't have anything to do with".[114]

In his one year with the England Schoolboys team, Giggs played nine times, all as captain, winning seven matches and losing twice.[115] Among the wins was a 4–0 victory over his Welsh peers, many of whom he would play alongside when he made the step up to the Welsh youth team the following year.[116] In May 1991, Giggs made his debut for the Wales Under-21s, a 2–1 victory over Poland in Warsaw.[117] It would turn out to be his only appearance for the team, as he received a call-up to the senior team later that year.

Giggs made his international debut away to Germany in October 1991, coming on as an 84th-minute substitute for Eric Young at the age of 17 years, 321 days to become the youngest player to appear for the Welsh senior team; he held this record until June 1998, when Ryan Green appeared against Malta at the age of 17 years, 226 days.[118] Wales were still in contention to qualify for UEFA Euro 1992 before the game, but a 4–1 victory for the Germans, who went on to win their remaining games against Belgium and Luxembourg, meant they qualified at Wales' expense.

Giggs' first senior goal for Wales came on 31 March 1993 in a 3–0 win over Belgium in Cardiff in a World Cup qualifying game, the same game in which Ian Rush scored for Wales for a record 24th time.[119]

After his international debut in 1991 against Germany, Giggs missed 18 consecutive friendly games before finally making his first friendly appearance for Wales against Finland in March 2000,[120] by which time he had already accrued 25 caps.[121] The reason for his continued absence from non-competitive fixtures was largely a protective measure against unnecessary injuries; in his autobiography, Giggs states: "At that time, whenever I played two games in one week I always seemed to pick up an injury, so [Alex Ferguson] and I sat down and looked at it game by game. If the international was a friendly, the feeling was that I didn't have to play."[122] Regardless, his regularly withdrawing from Wales squads and routinely missing friendlies was criticised.[123]

Giggs GB Team
For the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain entered a team for the first time in over 40 years, with Giggs as captain.

In a qualifier against England for the 2006 FIFA World Cup at Old Trafford where Wales lost 2–0, Giggs played against some present and former Manchester United teammates including David Beckham, Gary Neville, and Wayne Rooney.[124][125][126] During a 2006 World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan on 12 October 2005, Giggs scored a rare double in a 2–0 win, but Wales failed to reach the play-offs.[127]

In September 2006, he played in a friendly against Brazil at White Hart Lane where Wales lost 2–0. Brazil coach Dunga complimented Gigg's performance by stating he would not look out of place playing for the five-time world champions alongside stars such as Kaká and Ronaldinho.[128]

Giggs announced his retirement from international football on Wednesday, 30 May 2007, at a press conference held at The Vale of Glamorgan Hotel, drawing the curtain on a 16-year international career.[66] He cited concentrating on his United career as the main reason for stepping down. His final game for Wales, and as captain, was the Euro 2008 qualifier against the Czech Republic on 2 June at Cardiff. He earned his 64th cap in this game and won the Man of the Match award as Wales drew 0–0.[129] In November, he was one of three players in the final nomination by the FAW for the Wales Player of the Year award, which was ultimately won by Craig Bellamy.[130]

In an interview with the Western Mail on 26 March 2010, Giggs hinted that he might be tempted to come out of international retirement for his country's UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, in order to cover for the injured Aaron Ramsey.[131] He later clarified his position to BBC Radio Manchester, saying that he would only return to Wales duty in an emergency.[132]

On 28 June 2012, Giggs was confirmed as one of the three over-age players selected for Great Britain to compete at 2012 Summer Olympics alongside Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards,[133] and he was subsequently named the team captain.[134]

He scored with a header against the United Arab Emirates in a 3–1 win on 29 July to become the oldest goalscorer in the football competition at the Summer Olympics at the age of 38 years and 243 days, beating an 88-year-old record that had been held by Egypt's Hussein Hegazi.[135]

Managerial career

Manchester United

Giggs was appointed as a player–coach at Manchester United on 4 July 2013,[95] as part of the coaching staff under new manager David Moyes. When Moyes was sacked on 22 April 2014, after less than 10 months in the job, Giggs took over as the club's interim player-manager,[97] compiling a record of two wins, a draw and a defeat in the final four games of the 2013–14 season.[136] After his final match in charge, a 1–1 draw with Southampton, Giggs admitted to breaking down in tears, in part due to the pressure of managing United, and also said he had struggled to sleep during the period.[137][138] When Louis van Gaal was announced as Moyes' permanent replacement on 19 May 2014, Giggs was also appointed as Van Gaal's assistant manager.[139]

Giggs was praised for giving debuts to youngsters James Wilson and Tom Lawrence in a 3–1 victory over Hull City, a game in which he brought himself on as a substitute for Lawrence.[140][141][142][143]

Giggs was suggested by many – including Louis van Gaal – as the Dutchman's potential successor at Manchester United.[144][145] However, following the appointment of Portuguese coach José Mourinho, Giggs announced his departure from the club on 2 July 2016.[146]

Wales

Giggs was appointed manager of the Wales national team on 15 January 2018, succeeding Chris Coleman, who had left the role to take up the manager's position at Sunderland the previous November.[147]

Discipline

Giggs was never sent off in his 24-season playing career for Manchester United and was only once sent off when playing for Wales, on 5 September 2001 in a World Cup qualifier against Norway;[148] Giggs received a second yellow card in the 86th minute.[149] In November 2003, he was found guilty of improper conduct by the FA due to his behaviour during the Battle of Old Trafford game against Arsenal (one of two United and six Arsenal players charged over the incident);[150] Giggs received a £7,500 fine but avoided suspension.[151] In the same week, Giggs received a two-match suspension from international football for deliberately elbowing Russian player Vadim Evseev in the face during the first leg of the Euro 2004 play-offs.[152] The offence was missed by referee Lucílio Batista, but Giggs was later charged using video evidence.[152]

Career statistics

Club

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other[nb 1] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Manchester United 1990–91 First Division 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
1991–92 38 4 7 0 8 3 1 0 1 0 51 7
1992–93 Premier League 41 9 2 2 2 0 1 0 46 11
1993–94 38 13 7 1 8 3 4 0 1 0 58 17
1994–95 29 1 7 1 0 0 3 2 1 0 40 4
1995–96 33 11 7 1 2 0 2 0 44 12
1996–97 26 3 3 0 0 0 7 2 1 0 37 5
1997–98 29 8 2 0 0 0 5 1 1 0 37 9
1998–99 24 3 6 2 1 0 9 5 1 0 41 10
1999–2000 30 6 0 0 11 1 3 0 44 7
2000–01 31 5 2 0 0 0 11 2 1 0 45 7
2001–02 25 7 1 0 0 0 13 2 1 0 40 9
2002–03 36 8 3 2 5 0 15 4 59 14
2003–04 33 7 5 0 0 0 8 1 1 0 47 8
2004–05 32 5 4 0 1 1 6 2 1 0 44 8
2005–06 27 3 2 1 3 0 5 1 37 5
2006–07 30 4 6 0 0 0 8 2 44 6
2007–08 31 3 2 0 0 0 9 0 1 1 43 4
2008–09 28 2 2 0 4 1 11 1 2 0 47 4
2009–10 25 5 1 0 2 1 3 1 1 0 32 7
2010–11 25 2 3 1 1 0 8 1 1 0 38 4
2011–12 25 2 2 0 1 1 5 1 0 0 33 4
2012–13 22 2 4 1 1 2 5 0 32 5
2013–14 12 0 0 0 2 0 7 0 1 0 22 0
Total 672 114 74 12 41 12 157 29 19 1 963 168
As of 20:54, 11 May 2014.[153]

International

[129][154]

Wales senior team
Year Apps Goals
1991 2 0
1992 3 0
1993 6 2
1994 1 1
1995 3 0
1996 3 1
1997 3 1
1998 1 0
1999 3 1
2000 4 1
2001 4 0
2002 5 0
2003 7 1
2004 3 0
2005 6 3
2006 5 0
2007 4 1
Total 64 12
GB Olympic football team
2012 4 1
Total 4 1

International goals

Scores and results list Wales' goal tally first.

Managerial record

As of 11 June 2018
Team From To Record
G W D L Win % Ref.
Manchester United 22 April 2014[97] 11 May 2014 4 2 1 1 050.00 [155]
Wales 15 January 2018[156] present 13 5 1 7 038.46 [155]
Total 17 7 2 8 041.18

Honours

[157]

Club

Manchester United

Individual

State and civic honours

Records

Giggs PL trophy
Ryan Giggs with the Premier League trophy in 2008
  • Most decorated player in football history with 34 trophies.
  • Has won a record 13 top division English league titles as a player, and only Manchester United player to have winner's medals from all 13 Premier League title wins.
  • Most Premier League appearances for a player, with 632[168] (since surpassed by Gareth Barry).
  • Most Premier League assists for a player, with 162.[168]
  • Only player to have played in 22 successive Premier League seasons.
  • Only player to have scored in 21 successive Premier League seasons.
  • Only player to have scored in 17 different Champions League tournaments (includes 11 consecutive tournaments, 1996–97 to 2006–07; only Raúl has a better record with 14)
  • Most goals by a British player in the Champions League/European Cup proper history, and 14th overall (not including preliminary rounds).[169]
  • Most appearances by a Manchester United player.
  • Most starts by a Manchester United player, started in 794 games.
  • First player to score 100 Premier League goals for Manchester United.
  • Second midfielder to have scored 100 goals in the Premier League for a single club (first being Matt Le Tissier).
  • One of four Manchester United players to win two Champions League Medals (others are Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Wes Brown).
  • Oldest (37 years, 289 days) player to score in the Champions League, when he scored against Benfica on 14 September 2011.[84]
  • One of two Manchester United Players to win at least 10 Top division medals (the other one is Paul Scholes.)
  • Oldest (38 years, 243 days) player to score in the Football competition at the Summer Olympics, when he scored against United Arab Emirates on 29 July 2012.

Endorsements and public image

Giggs has been featured in adverts for Reebok, Citizen Watches, Givenchy, Fuji, Patek Phillipe, Quorn Burgers, ITV Digital and Celcom.

According to an article by BBC Sport: "In the early 1990s, Giggs was David Beckham before Beckham was even holding down a place in the United first team. If you put his face on the cover of a football magazine, it guaranteed you the biggest sales of the year. Why? Men would buy it to read about 'the new Best' and girls bought it because they wanted his face all over their bedroom walls. Giggs had the million-pound boot deal (Reebok), the lucrative sponsorship deals in the Far East (Fuji) and the celebrity girlfriends (Dani Behr, Davinia Taylor) at a time when Beckham was being sent on loan to Preston North End."[170]

Giggs features in EA Sports' FIFA video game series, and was selected to appear on the cover of FIFA Football 2003 alongside Dutch international midfielder Edgar Davids, and Brazilian international fullback Roberto Carlos.[171] Giggs was included in the FIFA 16 and 17 Ultimate Team Legends.[172]

In 2008, the National Library of Wales paid around £10,000 for Peter Edwards' portrait of Giggs, to be hung at their headquarters in Aberystwyth.[173]

Personal life

Family

Giggs is the son of former rugby union and Wales international rugby league footballer Danny Wilson.[174] Giggs was christened Ryan Joseph Wilson but as a teenager changed his surname to that of his mother after his parents separated.[174] Giggs is said to have inherited his balance and athleticism from his father.[174]

Giggs married his long-time partner, Stacey Cooke, in a private ceremony on 7 September 2007.[175] They have two children, both born in Salford and live in Worsley, Greater Manchester, close to where the player grew up.[176] Giggs and Cooke divorced in 2017.[177]

Giggs conducted an eight-year affair with his brother Rhodri's wife, Natasha. The affair resulted in members of Giggs' family repudiating their former ties to Ryan; after Ryan was appointed as manager of the Wales national team, his father Danny said he was "ashamed" of him and that "I can't even bring myself to use his name".[178]

Activism

In August 2006, Giggs became an ambassador for UNICEF UK, in recognition for his work with Manchester United's 'United for UNICEF' partnership with the children's organisation.[179] Giggs visited UNICEF projects in Thailand and told the BBC: "As a footballer I can't imagine life without the use of one of my legs... Sadly this is exactly what happens to thousands of children every year when they accidentally step on a landmine."[180]

Post-playing career

In October 2010, Giggs said he would "probably finish [his] career here [Old Trafford]," and that he could not see himself "dropping down leagues and playing at a lesser level." He said he wanted to go into coaching, describing the management of Manchester United or Wales as "the two ultimate jobs," and stating that he was halfway through his UEFA 'A' coaching licence.[181]

Ahead of his testimonial in 2011, Gary Neville revealed he would spend the proceeds towards a supporters club and hotel near Old Trafford.[182][183] Despite objections from Manchester United, Neville's plans were approved in 2012.[184] In 2013, Giggs and Neville launched a hospitality company named GG Hospitality,[185] with plans to build football-themed hotels and cafés around the United Kingdom, initially in Manchester and London.[186][187][188] The first operation was a football-themed restaurant named Café Football in Stratford, London, which opened in November 2013,[189] with Hotel Football, previously under the guise of the supporters club Neville announced in 2011, scheduled to be opened in late 2014.[190]

In 2014, it was announced that Giggs, along with fellow Manchester United legends Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville, had agreed a deal to purchase Salford City ahead of the 2014–15 season.[191][192] with plans to get the club to the Football League.[193] The group announced they would take part in a special friendly, with Salford facing a Class of '92 team.[194][195][196] On 22 September, the group agreed to sell a 50% stake in the club to billionaire Peter Lim.[197][198]

In November 2017, it was reported that Giggs had signed a consultancy deal with the Promotion Fund of Vietnamese Football Talents FC (PVF). The two-year deal would involve making two trips per year to Vietnam.[199]

Along with other United players who won the 1992 FA Cup, Giggs has proposed a university in Greater Manchester, named University Academy 92 which would offer "broader courses than traditional degrees" and attract students who "otherwise might not go on to higher education".[200]

Gagging order

In May 2011, it was reported in non-UK media sources that Giggs was the identity of CTB in CTB v News Group Newspapers,[201] a footballer who had obtained an anonymised gagging order in relation to an alleged extra-marital affair with model Imogen Thomas. Giggs took legal action against the social networking site Twitter after he was named by a user in a list of identities of individuals who had allegedly taken out so-called "super-injunctions."[202] A blogger for Forbes magazine remarked that Giggs had "not heard of the Streisand effect," observing that mentions of his name had increased significantly after the case against Twitter had been reported.[203]

On 22 May 2011, the Sunday Herald, a Scottish newspaper, published a thinly-disguised photograph of Giggs on its front page, with the word "CENSORED" covering his eyes.[204][205] Sunday Herald editor Richard Walker stated that the London High Court ruling had no force in Scotland, unless copies of the paper were sold in England or Wales.[206]

On 23 May 2011, the gagging order set off a political controversy, with Prime Minister David Cameron commenting that the law should be reviewed to "catch up with how people consume media today."[207] On the same day, Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name Giggs as CTB.[208][209]

Notes

  1. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup

References

General
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External links

1991–92 Manchester United F.C. season

The 1991–92 season was Manchester United's 90th season in the Football League, and their 17th consecutive season in the top division of English football.The season saw United lift the League Cup for the first time in their history with a 1–0 win over Nottingham Forest at Wembley Stadium. They also added the European Super Cup to the trophy cabinet with victory over Red Star Belgrade at Old Trafford. However, they then endured the disappointment of being beaten to the league title by rivals Leeds United, having led the league for much of the season.

New signings for the season included Danish goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and England right-back Paul Parker. Ryan Giggs, who had played twice for United in 1990–91, broke into the first team and was one of the most exciting players in the country as he won the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

Soviet international winger Andrei Kanchelskis, who had joined United in the later stages of the 1990–91 season, was also putting in star performances to give manager Alex Ferguson a more attacking alternative to the ageing Mike Phelan on the right hand side of midfield.

It was the final season at Old Trafford for striker Mark Robins, a key player from the FA Cup winning team two seasons earlier. His first team opportunities were limited due to the form of Mark Hughes and Brian McClair, and he was unfit when injuries opened up an opportunity for regular action in attack near the season's end. He was then put on the transfer list and by the start of the following season, he had been sold to Norwich City. Lee Martin had regained fitness following his back injury the previous season, but was unable to win a place in the team. Danny Wallace, who was by now rarely selected for the first team, was put on the transfer list before Christmas, but was still at Old Trafford when the season ended, despite talk of a return to Southampton. Russell Beardsmore, now a rare sight in the first team, had a brief loan spell at Blackburn Rovers.

Media reports for most of the season linked United with a move for Southampton striker Alan Shearer, but the player opted to remain at the South Coast club until the end of the season before making a decision on a future.

United would be among the founder members of the FA Premier League for the 1992–93 season, as the top 22 clubs broke away from the Football League.

1992 Football League Cup Final

The 1992 Football League Cup Final was a football match played on 12 April 1992 at Wembley Stadium, London, to determine the winner of the 1991–92 Football League Cup. The match was contested by Manchester United and Nottingham Forest. Manchester United won 1–0 to win the League Cup for the first time, with Brian McClair scoring the only goal.

1999 Intercontinental Cup

The 1999 Intercontinental Cup was a football match played on 30 November 1999 between Manchester United, winners of the 1998–99 UEFA Champions League, and Palmeiras, winners of the 1999 Copa Libertadores. The match was played at the neutral venue of the National Stadium in Tokyo in front of 53,372 spectators.

Manchester United won the match 1–0, the winning goal scored by their captain, Roy Keane. This was United's only Intercontinental Cup triumph, having been beaten by Estudiantes in the 1968 competition. This game was Palmeiras' only appearance in the Intercontinental Cup. Ryan Giggs was given the man of the match award. Manchester United's victory made them the first and only team from England and also the British Isles to win the Intercontinental Cup.

2007 FA Community Shield

The 2007 FA Community Shield (also known as The FA Community Shield sponsored by McDonald's for sponsorship reasons) was the 85th staging of the FA Community Shield, an annual football match played between the reigning Premier League champions and FA Cup winners. The match was played on 5 August 2007 between 2006–07 FA Premier League champions Manchester United and 2006–07 FA Cup winners Chelsea. Manchester United won the game 3–0 on penalties, after the match finished 1–1. Ryan Giggs opened the scoring in the 35th minute, before Florent Malouda equalised just before half-time.

The match then went to penalties, in which Chelsea went first. Edwin van der Sar saved Chelsea's first three penalties, leaving Wayne Rooney with the chance to win the match for United.

It was the first Community Shield match to be played at the new Wembley Stadium. Manchester United and Chelsea also contested the last Community Shield (then the Charity Shield) to be played at the old Wembley in 2000, with Chelsea winning the match 2–0.

2008–09 Manchester United F.C. season

The 2008–09 season was Manchester United's 17th season in the Premier League, and their 34th consecutive season in the top division of English football. After winning a third consecutive Premier League title for the second time to equal Liverpool's record of 18 league titles, the team aimed to become the first team to retain the European Cup since Milan in 1990. However, they were beaten 2–0 by Barcelona in the final at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on 27 May 2009.United started their season in August 2008 by winning the Community Shield. In December 2008, the club became the first English side to win the FIFA Club World Cup when they beat LDU Quito 1–0 in the final. Two months later, on 1 March 2009, the club added the 2008–09 League Cup to their trophy cabinet with a 4–1 penalty shootout win over Tottenham Hotspur after a goalless 120 minutes in the final.United secured a third consecutive Premier League with a goalless draw at home to Arsenal on 16 May 2009. This made them the first team ever to win three consecutive English top flight titles on two separate occasions, having previously done so between 1999 and 2001.

Albert Stuivenberg

Albert Stuivenberg (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈstœy̯və(n)bɛrx]; born 5 August 1970) is a Dutch professional football coach and former player who is currently the assistant manager of the Wales national team.

Stuivenberg played professionally for SC Telstar and HFC Haarlem, before suffering a serious injury and moving into coaching with Feyenoord and RWD Molenbeek. He then coached the youth team at Al Jazira Club and the Netherlands under-17 and under-21 national teams. He was appointed assistant coach to Louis van Gaal at Manchester United in 2014 before making his managerial debut with Genk in 2017. Stuivenberg became assistant manager to Ryan Giggs for the Wales national team in 2018.

BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year

The BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year is a televised sporting competition, broadcast on BBC Two every year; and the most prestigious annual sport award in Wales. It was first awarded in 1954, and is currently organised by BBC Cymru Wales. Since a trial in 2002, the competition has been open to public voting, rather than a decision being made within the competition prior to this.

Battle of Old Trafford

The "Battle of Old Trafford" was a Premier League match played on Sunday, 21 September 2003 between Manchester United and Arsenal. The name was later applied to the same fixture during the following season. The final result, a 0–0 draw, turned out to be significant for Arsenal as they went on to finish the league season without a single defeat, something that had only been achieved once before in English football, by Preston North End in 1888–89.The highlights of the match included the sending-off of Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira for a second bookable offence, for an incident that also brought about a booking for Manchester United centre-forward Ruud van Nistelrooy, and the decision by referee Steve Bennett to award Manchester United a penalty kick in the last minute of the match. Players from both teams were charged by the Football Association (FA) for their reactions at the end of the game, five Arsenal players and two Manchester United players were forced to pay fines.

CTB v News Group Newspapers Ltd

CTB v News Group Newspapers is an English legal case between Manchester United player Ryan Giggs, given the pseudonym CTB, and defendants News Group Newspapers Limited and model Imogen Thomas.

On 14 April 2011, Mr Justice Eady granted first a temporary injunction at the High Court in London, preventing the naming of the footballer in the media, then extending it on 21 April 2011. The injunction was initially intended to prevent details of the case – an alleged extra-marital relationship between Giggs and Thomas – from being published in The Sun. The ruling of the court was based on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the "Right to respect for private and family life."

Following the publication of details of the gagging order on Twitter, naming Giggs as the footballer involved, there was widespread discussion in the UK and international media on the issue of how court injunctions can be enforced in the age of social media websites.On 23 May 2011, Justice Eady rejected News Group Newspapers' application to lift the injunction, despite pressure from the public and government. Later the same day, Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name Ryan Giggs as CTB.

Eric Braamhaar

Frederikus Johannes (Eric) Braamhaar (born October 13, 1966 in Rijssen) is a Dutch football referee. Braamhaar is known to have served as a FIFA referee during the period from 2003 to 2011. He officiated at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship and 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, as well as qualifying matches for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.He refereed the 2007 UEFA Champions League knockout stage match between Manchester United and Lille OSC. There was some controversy as Braamhaar allowed United's Ryan Giggs to take the free-kick and score before Lille goalkeeper Tony Sylva had assembled the defensive wall; Lille's players threatened to walk off the pitch leading them to be charged with improper conduct by UEFA. https://www.theguardian.com/football/2007/feb/23/newsstory.championsleague2 Four weeks later, while refereeing an Eredivisie, he was seen celebrating when Ajax scored their fifth goal in a 5–1 victory over PSV Eindhoven. PSV manager Ronald Koeman, thought he was celebrating the goal, but Braamhaar later explained that he celebrated because of his decision to play advantage after an Ajax player was fouled in the build-up.On April 26, 2007 he left the pitch during the UEFA Cup semi final between Osasuna and Sevilla due to a torn calf muscle. He was replaced by fourth official Pieter Vink.

Fergie's Fledglings

Fergie's Fledglings were a group of football players recruited by Manchester United under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson (often nicknamed "Fergie") and trained by assistant coaches Brian Kidd and Eric Harrison, before eventually progressing to the first team during the 1990s.

The alliteration in the term is a clear homage to the Busby Babes, the famously youthful Manchester United team assembled by the club's former manager Sir Matt Busby and his assistant coach Jimmy Murphy during the 1950s.

Football League 100 Legends

The Football League 100 Legends is a list of 100 great association football players who played part or all of their professional career in English Football League and Premier League football. The players were selected in 1998 by a panel of journalists, including veteran reporter Bryon Butler, and the list was intended to reflect the League's history by including players from throughout the preceding 99 seasons. The Football League also announced plans for a gala dinner later in the season at which surviving legends would receive a specially commissioned award.

The list includes 34 players who began their playing careers before the Second World War, 37 who began their careers between the end of the war and 1980, and 29 whose professional careers began after that date. At the time of the list's publication, six of the legends were still active, all playing in the Premier League. As of the 2013–14 season, Ryan Giggs is the most recent player to be put on this list. All 100 of the legends played in The Football League with the exception of Dennis Bergkamp, who did not begin playing in England until after the Premier League replaced the Football League as the highest level of the English football league system in 1992.

Gabriele Ambrosetti

Gabriele Ambrosetti (born 7 August 1973) is an Italian football manager and former player, who played as a winger.

Gary Neville

Gary Alexander Neville (born 18 February 1975) is an English football coach, retired football player and co-owner of Salford City. Since retiring from football in 2011, Neville went into punditry and was a commentator for Sky Sports until he took over the head coach position at Valencia in 2015. After being sacked by the club in 2016, he returned to his position as a pundit for Sky Sports later that year. He was also assistant manager for the England national team from 2012 to 2016.Neville spent his entire playing career at Old Trafford, making him a one-club man. At the time of his retirement in 2011, he was Manchester United's second longest serving player in the squad, behind long-time teammate Ryan Giggs, and had served as club captain for five years. He is one of the most decorated English and European footballers of all time, having won a total of 20 trophies, including eight Premier League titles and two Champions League titles.Neville made his international debut in 1995 and was first-choice right-back for England for more than ten years, representing the nation at three European Championships and two World Cups. He is England's most-capped right-back with 85 caps.

Neville is the older brother of twin siblings. His brother, Phil Neville, a former Manchester United and Everton player, and sister, Tracey Neville, a retired netball international.

Imogen Thomas

Imogen Mary Thomas is a Welsh model and television personality. She won the Miss Wales award in 2003, and appeared on the seventh series of Channel 4 reality television programme Big Brother in 2006. In 2011, her alleged extramarital relationship with footballer Ryan Giggs was the subject of a gagging order in the UK.

List of Premier League players with 500 or more appearances

Since the Premier League's formation at the start of the 1992–93 season, 13 players have accrued 500 or more appearances in the Premier League.

The first player to reach the milestone was midfielder Gary Speed, in representation of Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers; his 500th match was Bolton's 4–0 win over West Ham United on 9 December 2006. Speed held the record for most appearances until 14 February 2009, when goalkeeper David James played his 536th match, for Portsmouth against his former team Manchester City. James ended with 572 appearances, a record which was broken by Ryan Giggs on 14 May 2011, having played all of his matches for Manchester United. On 25 September 2017, Gareth Barry broke Giggs' record by playing his 633rd match, West Bromwich Albion's 2–0 loss at Arsenal. At the time of breaking the record, Barry ranked 8th in English top division appearances since the Second World War, trailing Giggs in 6th (672 total top division appearances) and six other players.Ryan Giggs (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher (both Liverpool) are the only three players to have achieved the accolade of 500+ Premier League appearances exclusively for one club. James Milner, Emile Heskey and David James each played for five clubs (the most clubs for this achievement) on their way to 500+ Premier League games. The only player from outside the United Kingdom to play 500 Premier League games is Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, for Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea and Leicester City.

PFA Young Player of the Year

The Professional Footballers' Association Young Player of the Year (often called the PFA Young Player of the Year, or simply the Young Player of the Year) is an annual award given to the player aged 23 or under at the start of the season who is adjudged to have been the best of the season in English football. The award has been presented since the 1973–74 season and the winner is chosen by a vote amongst the members of the players' trade union, the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA). The first winner of the award was Ipswich Town defender Kevin Beattie. The current holder is Raheem Sterling, who won the award for his performances throughout the 2018–19 campaign for Manchester City.

Although the award is open to players at all levels, all winners to date have played in the highest division of the English football league system. As of 2017, only Ryan Giggs, Robbie Fowler, Wayne Rooney and Dele Alli have won the award on more than one occasion. Only seven players from outside the United Kingdom have won the trophy, compared with fifteen winners of the main PFA Players' Player of the Year award. Although they have their own dedicated award, players aged 23 or under at the start of the season remain eligible to win the Players' Player of the Year award, and on three occasions the same player has won both awards for a season. In 2018 Ryan Sessegnon of Fulham became the first player from outside the top division of English football to be nominated for the award.A shortlist of nominees is published in April and the winner of the award, along with the winners of the PFA's other annual awards, is announced at a gala event in London a few days later. The players themselves consider the award to be highly prestigious, because the winner is chosen by his fellow professionals.

The Class of '92

The Class of '92 is a 2013 British documentary film, released on 1 December 2013. The film centres on the rise of six young Manchester United footballers – David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes – and details their careers for Manchester United starting in 1992.

Wales national football team

The Wales national football team (Welsh: Tîm pêl-droed cenedlaethol Cymru) represents Wales in international football. It is controlled by the Football Association of Wales (FAW), the governing body for football in Wales and the third-oldest national football association in the world.

Although part of the United Kingdom, Wales has always had a representative side that plays in major professional tournaments, though not in the Olympic Games, as the International Olympic Committee has always recognised United Kingdom representative sides.

During their history, Wales have qualified for two major international tournaments. They reached the quarter-finals of the 1958 FIFA World Cup and reached the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2016. Wales also progressed through UEFA Euro 1976 qualifying to the quarter-final, which was played on a home and away leg basis, but they did not feature in the finals tournament.

At all levels, including the youth teams, the Welsh national team draws players primarily from clubs in the English football league system. The main professional Welsh clubs play in the English leagues, with some full-time and part-time professional clubs playing in the Welsh football league system.

Ryan Giggs – goals for Wales[154]
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 31 March 1993 Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, Wales  Belgium 1–0 2–0 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 8 September 1993 Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, Wales  Czechoslovakia 1–1 2–2 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification
3 7 September 1994 Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, Wales  Albania 2–0 2–0 UEFA Euro 1996 qualification
4 2 June 1996 San Marino Stadium, Serravalle, San Marino  San Marino 4–0 5–0 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
5 11 October 1997 King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium  Belgium 2–3 2–3 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
6 4 September 1999 Dinamo Stadium, Minsk, Belarus  Belarus 2–1 2–1 UEFA Euro 2000 qualification
7 29 March 2000 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales  Finland 1–2 1–2 Friendly
8 29 March 2003 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales  Azerbaijan 4–0 4–0 UEFA Euro 2004 qualification
9 8 October 2005 Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland  Northern Ireland 3–2 3–2 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
10 12 October 2005 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales  Azerbaijan 1–0 2–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
11 12 October 2005 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales  Azerbaijan 2–0 2–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
12 28 March 2007 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales  San Marino 1–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualification
Awards
Ryan Giggs – Managerial positions
Current managers of UEFA national teams

Languages

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