Ryan Giggs Finally Wraps Up Playing Career

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Say goodbye to a Man U legend… – (Photo: Article.wn.com)

For a soccer player in a position other than goalie to keep competing professionally at the age of 40 is incredible, and that is exactly what Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs managed to do this year.  While the season ended with massive disappointment and the dismissal of new manager David Moyes, Giggs was able to take over the reigns for the final few matches as player/manager.  Clearly he has seen the benefits to making such a transition, and now Giggs has made the choice to retire from playing.  With new manager Louis van Gaal recently appointed, Giggs will stay on with the club in an assistant’s role.

The timing couldn’t be more right!  Giggs has done everything possible for the club in his 24-year career.  He has helped Man U lift the Premier League title 13 times!  He has won 4 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, and 2 UEFA Champions League trophies!  He was won several Player of the Year awards amongst countless individual honors.  In essence, he will hang up his boots as one of the most decorated players in Manchester United history.

Ryan Giggs burst onto the Premier League scene in the early 1990’s as a quick  winger with an incredible left footed shot.  His play made him one of the most successful attackers and helped him become the face of the club and league itself!  As the new millennium arrived, Giggs became the team’s longest serving member and was the wily veteran with smarts and capabilities, though he was still in his 20’s at the time.  In recent years, Giggs had been moved away from the wing and into a deep-lying central midfield role.  With his knowledge and experience, he could help control the center of the park and orchestrate attacks, which he did to great success!  Even in his later years, the Welsh star still made a strong impact and even collected a PFA Player of the Year award in 2009.

But as we came closer to the present, it was evident that his primary value to the club was as a mentor and guide in training.  His appearances became more and more limited (usually from the bench), and this most recent season actually became the first in his entire career in which he failed to score a goal.  With the team currently in need of a serious makeover and a new identity, he has rightly chosen to fix himself squarely on the bench as an assistant manager.

This should be seen as no slight to the player; in fact I bet he sees it as an honor!  As an assistant, Ryan Giggs will continue to help his beloved club and will help direct its revival under van Gaal.  Additionally, in the upcoming seasons he will be molded into a man that will probably take control of the entire team as manager on a permanent basis at some point in the future.  And so while we bid farewell to the grace and skill of this tremendous player, we can rest easy knowing that the career of Ryan Giggs at Manchester United is surely set to continue for a long time into the future!


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