Giggs chasing one final honour

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Football News

Ryan Giggs beamed with pride on Tuesday afternoon as he collected the best player accolade at the Premier League 20 Seasons awards, but one could forgive the Manchester United veteran for finding the whole process somewhat tedious.

Giggs has clasped his hands around trophies more frequently than any other player in the history of British football, yet he still accepts every honour as graciously and enthusiastically as if it were his first.

The Premier League 20 prize will join countless others on the shelves at Giggs Manor, which have been weighed down by numerous achievements in a glittering career spanning three decades.

With Manchester United, Giggs has won 12 league titles, four FA Cups, four League Cups, eight Community Shields and two Champions Leagues, while he has also triumphed in the Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup and Club World Cup.

Yet there are always more records to be broken and awards to be won and, this summer, Giggs could add another prize to his collection and, for the first time, not in the red of Manchester United.

The 38-year-old, it would appear, is a nigh on certainty to be named as part of Stuart Pearce's squad for the Olympic Games this summer, taking one of only three 'over-age' places.

Naming Giggs in his team at London 2012 was surely initially a pipe-dream for Pearce but, as it was confirmed last week, the Welshman has been given permission by his club to represent Great Britain this summer.

Team GB has needed a relative fillip, given the general dismissal of its relevance, and Giggs is likely to provide just that, while he seems genuinely excited at the prospect of featuring this summer.

"I'm on the shortlist and if I get picked it would be fantastic, I think everyone is excited about the Olympics coming to London and coming to Britain but obviously I'd have to wait and see if I get picked or not," Giggs said at the Premier League 20 Season awards.

If any more proof was needed that Giggs is a born winner, then this was it. Edging closer towards 40 and, after an emotionally draining season, a summer of relaxation was both earned and required.

Yet the opportunity to add a missing piece to his creaking collection of trinkets clearly came as a chance Giggs could not possibly refuse. He might look rather good with a gold medal around his neck.

On this occasion, however, the pursuit of glory may have come as a secondary priority for Giggs, given the fact he failed to ever achieve the recognition of playing in an international tournament during his Wales career.

The number of international tournaments Emile Heskey has played in: three. The number of international tournaments Ryan Giggs has played in: zero. Hardly seems fair, does it?

Although he will never match the international feats of the much-maligned England striker, the chance to feature in just one tournament after a wait of over 20 years is a source of genuine pride for Giggs.

"[The Olympics] is obviously a tournament and I have never been involved [in any]," he explained.

"It will be exciting, I've never experienced it so hopefully it will happen but we will wait and see."

It is testament to Giggs' professionalism and mentality that he is willing to answer the call of Pearce, and the former's experience and influence will be vital to any success achieved by Team GB.

While the inclusion of David Beckham may be derided as a PR stunt to whip a relative frenzy around the representative side, Giggs' will significantly enhance Great Britain's prospects of achieving glory.

Winning an Olympic gold medal is the ultimate ambition for millions of young sportspeople, and will continue to remain the pinnacle of the career of all athletes in the Games' most prominent events.

And, although it may not rank alongside Giggs' finest hours, it would reaffirm his position as, not only one of football's all-time greats, but one of the most supreme sportsmen in history.

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Ryan Giggs
Premier League
Manchester United

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