Ryan Giggs is a player who will be appreciated properly once he retires. Having played in our first team for eighteen years, winning more league titles than any other player to ever play in England, as well as two European Cups, you’d think the praise would come in abundance. However, Giggsy is a player who is too often overlooked.
If you’ve got a free moment or two, check out Giggs videos on YouTube. It is easy to forget how awesome he used to be. What he lacks in pace these days he makes up with experience. Whatever you have to say about the older Ryan Giggs, you shouldn’t forget that he scored our last penalty in Moscow and scored our final goal of the season, the one that confirmed the league title, against Wigan.
He has spoken about his relationship with Ferguson, going back to their first meeting when he was just 13-years-old.
I met Sir Alex Ferguson when I was 13. I was playing for schoolboy teams and he would watch from the side. When he asked me to a trial I was delighted.
I didn’t sign at once – he came to our house a few times to persuade my parents that it was the right thing to do. It was strange seeing the manger of such a big club sitting on your couch drinking tea. Even though I was only 13, I remember being impressed that he knew my parents’ names and could recall games I’d played in. My parents felt that I would be in good hands because of his attention and care – he’s smart and knows that if parents’ minds are at ease, that’s key in the signing.
He’s been a mentor to me ever since and has helped me not only in football but in life in general. He’s very approachable and I knew that whether it be about football, trouble at school or problems at home, I could talk to him.
He’s harsh but fair and always encourages people to work hard. He repeatedly tells players that working hard requires no skill – just do it and the results can be seen. Seeing how hard he worked was inspirational – he was always first at the training ground and he never cut corners. Watching him made me in turn want to do well, not just for myself but for him too.
He never stands still, no matter what he’s achieved and he drills this into the players too: you win a trophy and the next day you start talking about the next trophy to win. He always looks to the future rather than dwelling on what has been achieved.
He shouts a lot and at a young age that could be tough, especially when I didn’t understand his accent and wasn’t sure what he was shouting. But I soon learned it was for my own good. When you’re not playing well he encourages you not to lose heart. On the other hand, when you do play well he praises you in a way that gives you the confidence to keep doing it.
He’s an intelligent man who doesn’t just talk football; he has a wide interest in other things and is happy to talk about those too. He’s great company.
My life would have been very different had I not met him. He’s not the sort of man who invites you to tell him what a great influence he’s had on you. He never wants praise, he sees it as being his job to bring people on. But I’m very grateful to him and he knows that.
What are we going to do without these two??
To mark the anniversary of United winning the Treble with a team that had academy products at the core, Made in Manchester is available for just £3 for today only. Some of the best football writers take a player each, from Sir Bobby Charlton to Ryan Giggs, George Best to David Beckham, Duncan Edwards to Paul Scholes, and many more, with 30 articles in total. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.