Ryan Giggs: A tribute to an Old Trafford legend
Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs continues to star at Old Trafford
He has been part of Manchester United since the age of 14, after Sir Alex Ferguson personally turned up at his house to offer him a chance to be part of Manchester United.
It was his performance in a game against United's under-15s that alerted Ferguson. Giggs netted a hat-trick, with Fergie watching on.
He was offered a schoolboy contract and told he would have the chance to turn professional three years later at the age of 17.
And on his 17th birthday, 29 November 1990, he was presented with a such a contract, which saw him turn pro two days later.
It turned out to be one of the most important decisions the manager has made in his time at Old Trafford. Giggs made his way through the United ranks rapidly and broke into the first team while he was still 17.
Although he was not a regular feature at this point, he got his hands on his first piece of silverware in 1992, winning the League Cup. It was the 1992/93 season that saw Giggs cement his first-team place out on his favoured left wing. Ferguson protected him during his early years, to such an extent that he was not allowed to be interviewed until he had reached 20.
With the likes of Eric Cantona and Mark Hughes upfront, Giggs was proving himself to be a big part as United began to dominate the early Premier League years. Mesmerising runs and brilliant control had defences running scared as a resurgent Manchester United ran riot. With a strong side and great manager around him, he could only improve, and improve he did.
For many, their outstanding memory of Giggs will see him remembered for that sublime goal against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final replay at Villa Park in 1999. Making one of the best defences around at the time look like kids playing in the park, Giggs beat them all before getting into the box and lashing his shot into the roof of David Seamen's net. Probably the best goal of his career and arguably the greatest FA Cup goal ever scored.
And at the age of 39, Giggs showed he still has much to offer United as he struck in Sunday's 2-0 win against Everton, another Premier League goal, meaning he continues an outstanding record of scoring in every season since its creation in 1992, a record that only he can claim to hold, summing up his fantastic and glittering career perfectly. He is already the most decorated Premier League player of all time, and his services to football have been noted by the Queen with his OBE.
Despite the fact he turns 40 this year, it is little wonder Sir Alex continues to give him the chance to stay at the club each year. His experience is invaluable, and with a new generation of youngsters waiting in the wings at Old Trafford, Giggs is a perfect example of what can be achieved at the Theatre of Dreams.
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