Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has heralded the achievements of winger Ryan Giggs, and believes the Welshman has eclipsed Paolo Maldini in-terms of his longevity.
The Italian legend made 902 appearances in 25 years at the San Siro, but Ferguson believes the stresses that are placed on midfielders makes Giggs a different breed.
And, ahead of the second leg of tonight’s Europa League last 32 clash against Ajax, Ferguson has paid tribute to Giggs, who could make his 900th appearance against the Eredivisie giants.
"Maldini was a defender and, although in his case, he did a lot of running as a full-back, wide players have more work to do than full-backs. That's the distinction between the two, although Maldini was obviously a magnificent player," said the Scot.
Giggs broke Manchester United’s appearance record during the 2008 Champions League final, surpassing Sir Bobby Charlton on the way to claiming a winners medal in Moscow.
After scoring a penalty in the crucial shoot-out, Giggs was tipped to retire on a high, but he’s defied the critics and continued to play at the highest level.
"It's amazing. When we went to Moscow he beat Bobby Charlton's record. It's phenomenal and he keeps defying his age. His performance level now is as it was then. Nothing's changed,” he added.
"I think Ryan's maturity and the fact we've changed his position has given a new aspect to his game. We remember him running up and down the touchline, running at full-backs.
"From my point of view, and not everyone will agree with me, is that being in the Premier League for as long as he has and achieved what he has, I don't think anybody else will ever do it."
Giggs doesn’t have to look far for admirers within the camp at Old Trafford either, with Tom Cleverley admitting he always wanted to follow in the footsteps of the Premier League legend.
"I remember pretending to be Ryan Giggs in the back garden."
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