Manchester United walloped Fulham 5-0 at Craven Cottage on Wednesday and there was something that stood out above all else in the game.
No, it was not Fulham’s complete inability to defend a football goal. It was an extremely lucky deflection that carried a Ryan Giggs shot over David Stockdale.
This was Giggs’ first Barclays Premier League goal of the season, not a remarkable feat in itself, but it meant he has now scored in every one of the 20 Premier League seasons.
We must also bear in mind that many of these weren’t just meaningless goals for minor teams – they were often important goals for one of the best English teams of our generation.
This is an amazing statistic and it is a testament to the Welshman’s staying power in a game that has discarded countless many talented individuals.
It almost seemed like a joke that a player who has traded in quality for so long should reach such a landmark in so fortunate a manner.
Giggs seemed to be chuckling as he celebrated the goal – the third of the five-goal thrashing – and the irony was not lost on those watching.
The Old Trafford legend admitted that he had concerns over whether his remarkable run would continue.
“I was starting to get worried I wouldn’t score this season. Last year I scored in one of our early games, so I didn’t have to worry about it after that,” he said.
“I’ll definitely be claiming this one. A centre forward would definitely claim it, so I’m going to.”
There is an obvious argument to suggest the 38-year-old could be the face of the Premier League without the scoring record, but his strike in Wednesday night surely seals his status as the top-flight talisman.
Especially as the competition's most prominent broadcaster has been so incessantly vocal in the celebration over the 20 year landmark, like a young child yapping excitedly about their birthday months before the day arrives.
Giggs' face over the past two decades has been as ubiquitous in the football media, in a similar way to this particular broadcaster, though not nearly as irritating.
The most admirable aspect of his continuous success is the way he has evolved his game to match his transforming physical attributes.
The Ryan Giggs that made his Manchester United debut against Everton on March 3, 1991 was a wiry winger with immense skill and blistering speed.
The Giggs that scored against Fulham was a cultured playmaker who’s sense of space and incredible ball control allow him to dictate the pace of games and unlock defences in a very different way.
The former Wales captain is the most successful player in English football history with 12 league titles, four FA cup winner’s medals, three League Cup winner’s medals and two Champions League winner’s medals.
This list doesn’t account for the many runners-up medals he has accumulated over the years.
A large number of extremely talented players have graced the Premier League over the years, many of which played with Giggs, but most have moved on or faded away.
Ryan Giggs was there at its inception and, to this day, continues to produce football of the highest quality – he is quite simply the greatest of all Premier League players.
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