Moyes hails Giggs as a model pro

29 November 2013 03:46

Manchester United manager David Moyes praised Ryan Giggs' dedication as the evergreen Old Trafford star celebrated his 40th birthday.

Giggs, now a coach as well as a player, marked the milestone on Friday, just days after a starring role in United's 5-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League.

"The lads had one or two surprises for him in the dressing-room," Moyes told a news conference on Friday.

"One was a coach's watch.I think he was begining to think they were pushing him out of the dressing-room!

"They're very good. He's respected by everyone in the dressing-room because of what he's achieved in football.

"He's undoubtedly at the top because of his longevity, the time he's played for one club, the amount of games he's played, what he's done in the Premier League and Europe.

"Every season you can look through and see Ryan Giggs moments. I just think that to be playing so well at his age is terrific.

"He's a great example to young players of how you should dedicate yourself to your career, and also to players in their early to mid-30s, who think maybe they're coming to the end.

"If you really look after yourself and train well, it can maybe go on a lot longer for you," added Moyes, in his first season in charge of English champions United following the retirement of Alex Ferguson.

Despite his age, Giggs remains an important figure in Moyes's plans as the "last man standing" of Old Trafford's famous Class of '92, with Paul Scholes and David Beckham retiring last season at the age of 38.

With England midfielder Michael Carrick facing several more weeks sidelined by Achilles surgery, and neither pre-season signing Marouane Fellaini nor the younger Tom Cleverley in top form, Giggs remains a key asset.

Indeed, he is likely to lead out the team against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday in a match that will test United, who are seven points behind pacesetters Arsenal after an inconsistent start to their title defence.

The Welshman has won 35 major trophies, making the transition from a fast, tricky winger to intelligent central midfielder during the course of 953 appearances since making his United debut against Everton in March, 1991.

"People mention his age but all you should mention is his football ability," Moyes said. "He's an unbelievable footballer. All round he is a wonderful player and I am really fortunate to be working with him.

"Ryan will tell us when he has had enough, or when he thinks his time is up," the former Everton boss added.

"He keeps training day in day out and his performances since I came to the club in the summer have been excellent.

"I think, when you get to Ryan's age, it's best to make decisions at the end of the season. It's how you feel, how you've done over the year and what your body is telling you.

"There's no quick decisions on that one. He's on the staff now, so we can always use him at any time!"

Source: AFP