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Giggs: I Didn’t Want Beckham’s Celebrity Lifestyle

Girls around Manchester went crazy for Ryan Giggs in the 90s. He was a teenage girls dream with his curly locks, his hairy chest, and his muscley legs.

He had every chance to go the same way George Best did, shagging and boozing his way around town, courting the media’s attention and lapping up any sponsorship deal that came along.

Under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, Giggs shunned that lifestyle, by and large, whilst the likes of David Beckham seemed to embrace it. Shagging and boozing aside, Beckham married a Spice Girl and became the face of plenty of products.

How have the careers of these two players differed because of this? Immeasurably.

“I didn’t embrace that lifestyle, like David Beckham,” said Giggs. “He was comfortable with it. I was comfortable with the football and with the photo shoots. But I was never comfortable with people following me around. I felt that kind of attention would have negatively affected my football. Players today are like actors. They have publicists, people running their lives. We just had an agent or solicitor.”

Earlier this year, Ryan Giggs was lifting his second European Cup and tenth Premiership trophy, after scoring the crucial penalty in the European Cup final, as well as netting the goal that killed off Wigan on the final day of the season. He has broken the record for the most appearances for Manchester United, whilst winning more English league titles than any other player. In contrast, David Beckham was playing Major League Soccer for LA Galaxy.

Let this be a lesson for all young footballers! Ryan Giggs, we salute you!

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. corea says:


  2. RED_ARMY says:


  3. Mic says:

    I love him, I think Beckham is a legend too, I wish he never married Posh and took up the lifestyle, he was a great footballer and though he did give alot to football he could’ve given more and become even better. Have you seen his new perfume add? It’s embarrassing and Posh is a rat.

  4. Tevratov says:

    Never received the acclaim he deservered. I’d argue Giggs was a better player, just wasn’t a media darling like ‘golden balls’.

  5. Costas says:

    I also have to say that i loved Beckham.I grew up watching Becks slowly become a Man. United legend.At the same time i adored Giggsy and frankly i was more worried when we missed him than i was when we missed Beckham.When i think about Beckham one word comes to mind:shame.He should still be here at United but he chose the lifestyle to get the best of him.I think that the Milan supporters weren’t to fond of getting him because their club “went from buying the world’s best to buying models” as they said it.It’s heartbreaking to see others think of him like that.

  6. Red-Manc says:

    Giggs is a true United legend and he made the right choice in choosing Football over the celebrity lifestyle same goes for Scholes and Neville, I did really like Beckham though and still to this day he only has good things to say about United in my opinion becks ruined his chance of being the best footballer in the world because people think of him as a celebrity rather than a footballer and its a shame he will be known for his aftershave ranges etc rather than how good a footballer he actually was, theres still nobody that can cross a ball as well as Beckham.

    feared by the blues loved by the reds Ryan Giggs Ryan Giggs Ryan Giggs!

  7. BobbyBall says:

    lol @ Mic; “Posh is a rat”. That is the best phrase to describe her, that’ve read. Brilliant and true.

    Beckham is an attention whore. The guy seems very likeable and had plenty of talent, but i became sick of hearing and reading about him. He’s what the Americans call a corporate shill. He’ll suck balls as long as the money is right. I was glad when he went.

    Giggsy has been great, he’s earned some cash from deals, but never got into bed like Beckham. He never sold himself and i respect that. You can’t fault him for making the odd buck, but he never sold his soul.

    I personally blame Posh. That talentless rat wouldn’t be where she is now without Beckham. She influenced him, but they are two vain people and seem to be happy. So good luck to them.

  8. Tom F says:

    One of the very few true greats still playing in English football.

    The other two are Gary Neville and Paul Scholes.

    I mean, holding down a starting position for that long at such an incredible Club!

  9. PeeJay says:

    Giggs has God given talent whereas Beckham’s work ethic
    made him who he is.

  10. suhayl says:

    Peejay me auld mucker…thats the first comment ive agreed with you on, in years of posting on republik….seriously…lol

  11. Red-Manc says:

    peejay and suhayl im going to be a fucking humbug and disagree with ya’s

    Beckham and Giggsy both have god given talents but its Giggsy’s work ethic and determination that made him go on to better things than becks, but I’ll agree Giggs has just got a natural talent for football Ive never seen a Welshman with such skill, he’s the welsh version of Messi ;)

    thinking of all these players like Giggs,Scholes,Neville and Beckham it saddens me really that there all coming to the end of their careers and i doubt we’ll ever see players as good and as loyal as them again.

    I miss the lads of the 90′s like Solskjaer Cantona Keane Irwin etc so I’ll be devastated when these lads have to step down because there irreplaceable

  12. Marquiz says:

    to Red-Manc

    Nope, Giggs is not the Welsh version of Messi. Its Messi who is the Argentine version of Giggsy =)

  13. Red-Manc says:

    Marquiz i stand corrected, very true ;)

  14. King Eric says:

    A big fan of Beckham but give me Giggsy any day! as Red Manc says it will be gutting when Giggs, Scholes and Nev step down.

  15. EastStandManc says:

    It wasn’t for the want of trying though, eh Giggseh? Haha, just kidding matey. Although those Findus/Birdseye ads were absolutely shocking, you have to admit!

    Posh is a fucking cunt for turning Beckham into the freak-celebrity he is now and I’ll never forgive her for it.

    I’m not saying that you shouldn’t marry the one you love and I’m not saying that he would’ve stayed for as long as Giggsy has, either, but he could still have had a lot more in his trophy cabinet to gawp at when he retires than what he does now, and more importantly, legendary status at United rather than the acrimonious exit he made and a shit fake lifestyle amongst the wannabes in Hollywood.

    He’s still a Red at heart, though. I don’t like wishing divorce on anyone, but when he was with us, I made an exception. I honestly don’t know what voodoo powers she had over him. Fuck’s sake *sighs*.

  16. King Eric says:

    Good post East Stand

  17. Drew Vader says:

    Anyone else have the Double Champions DVD of last season?? Or it could be the DVD from the year before, I’m not sure. Anyway, it has some footage of Giggsy when he was very young and its brilliant to watch. He was about ten times faster than anyone else on the pitch, it would have been incredibly unfair to play against him.

  18. Red-Manc says:

    Drew Vader yeah i’ve got that mate, its a class video. the one that has a tribute to Ole on it aswell?

  19. TonyBee says:

    Giggsy scored what was for me one of the greatest goals I have ever seen…. where he turned that gooning cunt Dixon inside out 2 or 3 times and then belted the ball past the keeper. I have followed Man U for over 35 years and that was the best goal I have ever seen.
    He is a true legend and red through and through.

  20. mltezr says:

    ryan giggs a true manc. a great role model for every football fan. may he be knighted and live forever

  21. Kilhar says:

    Giggs has and always had enough work ethic to not let anything affect his football and loaylty. Italian and Spanish clubs would´ve doubled his salary at the 90´s immediately.

    Beckham is United great, Giggs IS United.

  22. Dave says:

    When people talk about how great ronaldo is, i always smile. U see, the greatest of them all is one Ryan Giggs…i’ll repeat what many said…Giggs is GOD

  23. King Eric says:

    Drew : its 06/07 dvd mate was just watching it two nights ago! One where he has short hair and beats about 5 men and scores?

  24. excitedforunited says:

    Giggsy will always be one of my favourites! The number of years he’s persevered in the squad and he’s still delivering the goods till today, albeit not as effectively as in the yesteryears. :)

    Hopefully he’ll be the gaffer one fine day.


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