Ryan Giggs, the Welsh Wizard at 40
'Giggs gets past Vieira, past Dixon… who comes back at him… it’s a wonderful run from Giggs!' – Sky’s Martin Tyler commentating on Ryan Giggs’ winning goal in the F.A. Cup semi-final replay v Arsenal, 1999.
He’s scored arguably the greatest FA Cup goal of all-time. He has more medals than he knows what to do with. He’s even been namechecked in ‘The Simpsons’. Despite all this, if his latest performance at the heart of Manchester United’s midfield is anything to go by then Ryan Giggs is showing no signs of packing it in just yet.
On Friday, Giggs will reach the ripe old age of 40 just two days after pulling the strings in his side’s 5-0 Champion’s League dismantling of Bayer Leverkusen.
After making his debut against Everton on March 2nd 1991, few would have predicted that Giggs would still be a regular starter over two decades later.
From Captain Marvel Bryan Robson, through superstars like Cantona, Beckham, and Ronaldo to today’s crop of Rooney, Ferdinand and Van Persie, Giggs has lived with them all at Old Trafford. He’s even outlasted ‘The Boss’, the granddaddy of the Theatre of Dreams himself, Sir Alex Ferguson.
Now operating in a player/coach capacity under new manager David Moyes, the Peter Pan of the Premier League is reportedly even considering extending his contract to take in another year turning out for the first team.
There is a generation of children who grew up idolizing the Welsh wizard after he burst onto the scene in the 1990’s. They will wonder if he is ever going to call it a day. One senses that when he does, these kids now either side of 30 years old themselves, will feel that the door will be shut on part of their childhood.
Martin Tyler put it better than anyone. It has been a wonderful run from Giggs.
Few considered, however, when Tyler voiced this immortal line back in 1999 that the Boy Wonder wasn’t even approaching the halfway point of his career.
Still, there may be life in this old dog yet.
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