Happy Birthday Ryan Giggs! Manchester United and Premier League Legend Turns 39 [PHOTOS]
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | Nov 29, 2012 01:06 PM EDT
Manchester United and Wales veteran Ryan Giggs celebrates his 39th birthday on 29 November. The long-serving Red Devil has made an incredible 919 appearances for Sir Alex Ferguson's side to date.
Giggs joined United, poetically enough, on his birthday - on 29 November, 1987 and made his senior team debut in 1991, at Old Trafford, against Everton. His first start was in the 1991/92 season and as an indicator of what was to come... it was perfect. An 18 year old Giggs scored the only goal of the Manchester derby, an ironic reminder to the reigning Premier League champions they let an absolute wizard slip through their hands; Giggs was signed from City's youth team after a personal intervention from Sir Alex Ferguson.
It didn't take long for Giggs to make the left flank all his own and it was little coincidence United went on a remarkably trophy-laden run in the next few seasons - the 1992/3 inaugural Premier League and title doubles in the 1993/94 and 1995/96 seasons, capped with the now legendary treble - the 1999 Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.
On a personal level, if over 900 appearances (and 165 goals) is not impressive enough, Giggs is the only player in the Barclays Premier League to have scored in every season and is also the only player to have scored in 16 different editions of the Champions League (only Real Madrid legend Raul comes close, with 14).
All these records and his longevity means Giggs (and Ferguson) has seen several generations of United stars come and go. So when we talk about Juan Sebastian Veron or Diego Forlan or Kleberson or Ruud van Nistlerooy... Giggs has seen them all... right up to youngsters like Javier Hernandez and Angelo Henriquez.
"I got used to the fact a long time ago that I am playing with someone who wasn't born when I made my debut and all these sort of things that come up," he said, to the Premier League's official Web site, adding, "So yeah, I have just got used to it. It's something I have got to live with I suppose."
When asked which stadium had the most daunting atmosphere, he replied: "I think Anfield. Like I said before, no matter how the teams are doing there is always a great atmosphere. You could be playing against an average Liverpool team and it would still be one of the toughest games of the season, just because the crowd drive them on and the tradition between the two clubs."
And finally, on the occasion of his birthday, Giggs admitted his dream Premier League midfield would contain an all-United look... and one fans would probably jump to have replicated.
"I think the two midfielders that stand out are Scholesy [Paul Scholes] and Keaney [Roy Keane], the year we won the treble. And then it would be close between Becks [David Beckham] and Cristiano [Cristiano Ronaldo] but what Cristiano has done in the last couple of years probably just pips him. In my view, along with Messi, he's the world's best player. So, I wouldn't mind being in that midfield, if I can get in!" he added.
Check out these pictures capturing some of the best moments of the Welshman's career
Manchester United and Wales veteran Ryan Giggs is set to make his 1000th appearance for the club against Norwich City.Source: Reuters
Manchester United football player Ryan Giggs shows his OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) honour after an investiture ceremony by Britain's Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in London in a December 11, 2007Source: Reuters
At 38, Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs was competing at his first ever international tournament with Team GB, at the London Olympics 2012Source: Reuters
Manchester United's Ryan Giggs celebrates his goal against Benfica during the Champions League Group C football match at the Luz stadium in Lisbon September 14, 2011Source: Reuters / Jose Manuel Ribeiro
Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs with Stuart Pearce, the manager for Team GB's men's football team at the London Olympics 2012Source: Reuters
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson congratulates Ryan GiggsSource: Reuters
Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs celebrates his goal in a Premier League football match against Norwich CitySource: Reuters
Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs involved in an altercation with Gary CaldwellSource: Reuters
France international Patrice Evra watches as Manchester United team mate Ryan Giggs scores a goal against Fulham in a Premier League match at Craven Cottage in LondonSource: Reuters
Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs is the only player to have scored at least once in every Premier League seasonSource: Reuters
Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has made over 900 appearances for the Red Devils' first teamSource: Reuters
Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs might have turned out for arch-rivals Manchester City, but for Sir Alex Ferguson's personal interventionSource: Reuters