On Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge, while Manchester United were enduring Chelsea’s half-time resurgence, perhaps their most famous player of the Barclays Premier League years was setting more records.
Ryan Giggs, 20 years on from his debut in a United shirt against Everton at Old Trafford at 17, was equaling Sir Bobby Charlton’s league appearance record of 606, but just like he did against The Toffees on his first league appearance, he tasted defeat against their league rivals.
It’s an experience that Giggs has rarely had to encounter, and amazingly English football’s most decorated player had even more records to break.
He’d already eclipsed Charlton’s all-time appearance record when appearing as a substitute during United’s Champions League victory over Chelsea in Moscow in 2008. Even while assisting some of the club’s great goal scorers, it was him who reached 100 Barclays Premier League goals first, and he who has scored in every Barclays Premier League season to date.
Above any record however, Giggs not only possesses a superb disciplinary record, having never been sent off during his United career, but also the respect of his peers and football supporters all around the globe.
His biggest fan, undeniably, is his manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who invested time in Giggs’ raw talent, protected him from the media and helped him grow into one of the great post-war footballers.
"Ryan is an incredible human being. He defies logic,” Ferguson said.
"Ryan has been doing it for two decades. No other player has ever done that - or is ever likely to. He is an amazing man."
Having Charlton in terms of appearances made for United, it was no surprise that last month, the Welshman was voted the club’s greatest ever player.
And with at least another year to come of the wing wizard, after he signed an extension to his current deal, United fans will have the chance to enjoy more of Giggs’ mastery in midfield. The only question now is, when will it end.
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