11 - Ryan Giggs Profile

The Welsh wizard, Ryan Giggs, started his career at Maine Road, where he played for Manchester City's school of excellence. When he was just fourteen, Alex Ferguson went to his home to ask him to sign schoolboy forms with Manchester United. Giggs had been told by City's chief scout that they would be letting him leave the club at the end of the year, and consequently Giggs jumped at the opportunity to switch to the red side of Manchester. He signed the schoolboy forms and within three years was making his full professional league debut for the Reds, ironically against Manchester City, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory.

Soon after, Giggs made his international debut for Wales when he came on as a substitute against West Germany in June 1991. He had captained the England Schoolboys team as a youngster, but was only eligible as he was attending school in England - he was not eligible to play for England at a higher level. Being born and raised in Wales til he was 7, with both parents and grandparents being Welsh, he was only eligible to play for Wales.

Giggs has become one of the great players in the British game, entertaining the crowds with his dribbling skills and exhausting defenders with his blistering pace. He has won the PFA Young Player of the Year twice, the first person to do so and has been a major part of United's success.

Although Giggs is often injury prone - he only made 20 Premiership starts during the 98/99 season - he is able to change the course of games with his magnificent skill. The goal he scored against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final replay in the 98/99 campaign goes down as one of the best goals ever scored in the competiton and emphasises the value that he can give to a side.

Following in the footsteps of marvellous players, like Best and Edwards, Giggs is the embodiment of the attacking flair and spirit that is the tradition of Manchester United. Giggs seems to have been around for a long time, but he still has, allegedly yet to hit his peak, and when he does, he will hopefully continue to produce the brilliance that many have come to expect from this tricky winger.

2002/03 saw him finally shake off the injuries as he missed only a handful of games, but his form dipped terribly. The so-called boos at Old Trafford were exaggerated, but it was obvious that United fans were growing exasperated with Giggs' poor performances, especially after his "miss of the season" against Arsenal. But he regained his form as the title race went on, and silenced the claims that his Old Trafford days were numbered.

The following season was again slightly mixed, as Giggs managed to steer clear of injuries but often seemed to go missing when United needed him most. However, he ended the campaign in style in his hometown, helping United win the FA Cup by earning a penalty and setting up the third goal.

But Giggs would not even collect an FA Cup winners medal as consolation in what was a very dissapointing season by United's standards. Although he scored 9 times in 43 appearances, his form was inconsistent as he juggled his Wales duties with his United ones.

Despite idle transfer gossip, Giggs pledged his future to United in May 2005 by signing a two-year extension deal, and in 2005/06, despite suffering a fractured cheekbone early on, he proved his importance for the club when he switched into central midfield for the second half of the season, putting in some inspirational performances to fill a void in the team.

Related Ryan Giggs News

  • Giggs defends United quality

    Ryan Giggs has hit back at critics who argue the current Manchester United side is not one of their strongest.

  • Giggs stunned by United success

    Ryan Giggs has admitted he never expected Manchester United to overhaul Liverpool's record of 18 league championships.

  • Giggs pleased to progress

    Ryan Giggs believes Manchester United deserved to progress to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

  • Giggs - Message sent out

    Ryan Giggs believes Manchester United's comeback against West Ham United sent out a 'big message' to the club's title rivals.

  • United hope for Giggs boost

    Sir Alex Ferguson is optimistic Ryan Giggs will be fit to return for Manchester United's trip to Chelsea on Tuesday.

  • Giggs in line for new deal

    Manchester United chief executive David Gill has confirmed the club plan to address Ryan Giggs' contract situation in the coming months.

  • Giggs warns United rookies

    Ryan Giggs has warned Manchester United's Carling Cup rookies they must show greater backbone if they are to succeed at Old Trafford.

  • Giggs fancies United hot-seat

    Ryan Giggs has admitted for the first time he would love to manage Manchester United.

  • Giggs facing spell out

    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says Ryan Giggs is facing a spell on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury.

  • Giggs wants title back

    Manchester United stalwart Ryan Giggs is determined to take the Premier League title back off Chelsea this season.