Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Ryan Giggs has probably never received the recognition he deserves for his contribution to Manchester United’s success over the last 15 years.
No other player has collected the full set of medals for all the silverware which has filled the Old Trafford trophy cabinet over that time. Yet several, including Eric Cantona, Roy Keane and Cristiano Ronaldo, have received the major individual awards which have eluded the man who has played more games for United than anyone else.
Giggs started in the first team as a 17-year-old winger famously likened by his manager Alex Ferguson to a “spaniel chasing a slip of paper in the wind”. Ferguson recently described Giggs as the ultimate professional whose burning desire to continue playing at the highest level at the age of 35 should make him a role model for all aspiring footballers.
Giggs has unsurprisingly lost the raw pace which, combined with his skills, used to leave defenders with what his manager called “twisted blood”. But he more than compensates now with a vast experience which allows him to play in a variety of positions.
The Premier League table has made pretty interesting reading this season, what with Aston Villa and Chelsea threatening the end of the Big Four era and Tottenham stuck far too low down the standings for the comfort of their fans.
Sadly, the football itself is not providing the same level of drama.
A quick glance at the 2008/09 Player of the Year candidates shows the theme of this season rather nicely: defence.