Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs has called time on his playing career at Old Trafford to focus on his new role as assistant to the club's newly-appointed manager Louis van Gaal.
The 40-year-old Welshman has decided to bring the curtain down on his illustrious 23-year playing spell with the Red Devils, ceasing those commitments with immediate effect.
Giggs made a record total of 963 appearances for Manchester United since making his debut under Sir Alex Ferguson in 1991, and spent the last four games of 2013/14 in interim charge of the first-team following the sacking of David Moyes in April.
After it was confirmed earlier today that Holland head coach Van Gaal will succeed Moyes on a permanent basis after the World Cup this summer, Giggs was delighted to take the No.2 job.
"I am thrilled to have the chance to serve as assistant manager," he explained. "Louis van Gaal is a world-class coach and I know I will learn a lot about coaching from being able to observe and contribute at such close quarters.
"Manchester United has been a huge part of my life and I'm delighted to be able to continue that relationship in such a key role."
After confirming his decision to hang up his boots and focus solely on coaching in the next stage of his career, Giggs wrote an open letter to Manchester United supporters which was released on the club's official website.
"I would like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from professional football and embark upon a new and exciting chapter in my life, as assistant manager of Manchester United," he said.