Ryan Giggs is celebrating his 40th birthday today and has generated plenty of column inches of praise. What Giggs has done is not just play football until he’s 40, but played football at the top level until that age, which is made all the most impressive by the fact he started playing for the first team when he was 17. He’s spent more years of his life playing for United than he’s spent not playing for them, which is pretty bonkers.

Still, he attributes his success to the fact that he has stayed at one club for his entire career.

“If I’d moved from club to club I’d be finished by now,” said Giggs. “I’m lucky that I have been at one club, where I am surrounded by good players. I also have a good manager. I look after myself and try to train every day in order to make myself available for selection. I enjoy it as much as I can and, of course, try to contribute to the team.”

New manager David Moyes has echoed this sentiment.

“He’s undoubtedly at the top because of his longevity and the time that he has played for just one club, the amount of games he has played in Europe and in the Premier League,” said Moyes. “Every season, you can look at Ryan Giggs moments. To be playing so well at his age is terrific and a great example to young players about how you should dedicate yourself throughout your career. It also tells players who get into their early to mid-30s and think things are coming to an end that if they really look after themselves and train well, they can go on for a lot longer.”