Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs is set to make his 1,000th appearance tonight against Real Madrid.

Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed Giggs' involvement in a press conference last week. "He will be involved on Tuesday, there is no question about that," said Ferguson.

"It will be a great moment for him, a great game, a great example for all young players that he can be playing his 1,000th game as a professional."

Everyone had expected Giggs to reach this latest milestone against Norwich at the weekend, but Ferguson left him out of the squad completely, saving Giggs's biggest game for the biggest night of the season.

Leaving the Welsh wing wizard out of the squad at the weekend was a good call, because now, it will provide tonight's game with yet another sub-plot, although Giggs will likely be overshadowed by the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Since Giggs made his debut 23 years ago, when he was just 17-years-old, he has become one of the most decorated footballers in England. He has won a very impressive 12 Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two Champions Leagues. He is one of two players still playing at United, from their treble-winning side of 1999. Giggs will be hoping to repeat this feat this season as well.

It is not just what he has won that has been impressive. Giggs has been playing for United for 23 years, the longest serving player at the moment, which means he has played in all 21 Premier League seasons so far, with two seasons in the old First Division.

The 39-year-old Welshman is the only player to do this. He is also the only player to score in every Premier League season so far, thanks to his goal against Everton a few weeks ago.

In 2008, Giggs broke the 35-year-old appearance record set by Sir Bobby Charlton in 1973, with 781 appearances. Giggs has surpassed that record and shows no signs of slowing.

He also proved last week that he doesn't want to finish on 1,000 appearances, signing a new one-year contract which will take him past his 40th birthday.

It's hard to believe that Phil Jones and David De Gea weren't even born when Giggs made his debut. Giggs would certainly be the best possible role model for the younger members of the squad.

When Giggs first appeared at Old Trafford he set the place alight, and he is still doing that now, by showing glimpses of his old self.

As Giggs embarks on his 1,000th United appearance, even the man himself couldn't have picked a better game to reach the milestone.

And don't rule out Giggs playing a key role in tonight's clash, despite his age.

May he play on for many more years.


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