Ryan Giggs, the most decorated player n the Premier League, is today celebrating his 40th birthday and coming hot off the heels of his age defying display against Bayer Leverkusen at the Bay Arena.
It's only fitting that we turn back time and relive a few of his best goals and remind ourselves of his most memorable goals in his stellar elite career.
Tottenham 1 vs Manchester United 1 – 1992
His first great individual goal. Giggs was only 18 at the time in a relaunched Premier League but did not look even remotely fazed by the grand stage he was playing in.
He robbed defender Dean Austin before a trademark nutmeg Jason Cundy, breezing past the advancing Ian Walker in goal and slamming into an empty net from narrowest of angles.
The Welshman could not have announced himself more emphatically. It had begun.
QPR 2 vs Manchester United 3 – 1994
This slaloming run and finish became known as ‘the Giggs’ over the years and led to him being referred to in the same glowing, legendary terms as United’s former great, one George Best.
Picking a loose ball in the opponent’s half, Giggs stepped aside a tackle from Ray Wilkins, cuts inside Peacock, drives forward before confidently firing past Jan Stejsdal, leaving a pair of frantically pedalling defenders colliding in his wake. Stupendous.
Arsenal 1 vs Manchester United 2 – FA Cup Semi-Final Replay, 1999
His most famous goal to date scored in a big, big match, at a big, big moment and against big, big opponents. Arsene Wenger had set in motion the French revolution at Highbury, already picking up the Premier League and FA Cup in his time since arriving two years earlier.
The Gunners had developed into United’s main challengers by this time and were odds on favourites to progress into the final after United were reduced to 10 men after Roy Keane
was dismissed. Cometh the hour however, cometh the Welshman.
Giggs was gifted possession via a sloppy cross field pass for Patrick Vieira inside his own half and embarked on another of his trademark runs. This time however, he was up against an Arsenal team that was largely made up of English and French internationals but it did not matter, he just could not stop, he was not going to stop.
First up, Vieira, eager to atone for his mistake that caused the turnover, was left sprawling after Giggs twisted in and out, then Lee Dixon joined in, he too was left clutching at air. Martin Keown stepped up but it was a case of same script, different cast as Giggs bamboozled past him before Lee Dixon and Sol Campbell tried to double up on him but ended up helping each
other up from the floor.
Then, just as David Seaman approached, Giggs slammed the ball high into the roof of the net and took off his shirt in his most iconic celebration. It was done, Ryan Giggs had reached the pinnacle of footballing greatness and even the Arsenal faithful could not help but stand
and applaud him. United went on to win the famous treble, thanks in no small part to this virtuoso goal.
Juventus 0 vs Manchester United 3 (Champions League, 2003)
The continental stage was not too big for him either as Giggs often served some of his best performances for the Champions League and especially against the great Italian teams.
Against Juventus in Turin, and having a goal to his name already, Giggs intercepts a pass form the current Old Lady manager Antonio Conte and drives from left to right, across the Juventus penalty area before placing the ball ever so sweetly right across Buffon into
the far corner from where he had started his run. Epic.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU