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Name Ryan Giggs
Gender Male
Ethnic Welsh
Job Welsh Footballer
  Wales Manager
Desc 13 titles. 672 Premier League appearances. 114 goals. Another player who adapted his game as he grew older, proving his class across multiple roles. First he was the wiry winger, beating statuesque defends with his mazy footwork and turn of pace. Then, as the years ticked by and the shock of black hair grew steadily shorter, he moved into the middle, dominating matches with his composure and outstanding passing range

Affiliation

Org Welsh National Team
Club as Player Manchester United
Owner Salford City

Affiliation

Teammate David Beckham
  Paul Scholes
  Roy Keane
  Phil Neville
  Gary Neville

Notes

Salford City Gary Neville, along with his brother Phil, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes is a co-owner of Salford City

2009 07 10 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs name Diego Maradona as his heroes] That goal he scored against England – not that Hand of God goal – was absolutely amazing

2014 04 26 Retrieve

[Giggs states at his media briefing after given the role on an interim basis] Sir Alex Ferguson was the first person I picked the phone up to

2014 11 12 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs on Maradona] The best of all time is Maradona. I admired him in the World Cups of 1986 and 1990 and the arc of his career. Today there are so many strong players such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but the things I have seen Maradona do I have never seen anyone else achieve in football history

2014 11 29 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs on Xavi] It is never nice to lose a record, but the fact that I’m now sharing it with someone of Xavi’s calibre makes it a bit less bad. Xavi is a bit like a chess player. He is always two or three steps ahead of everybody else. For me, he is one of the greatest players ever who played

2015 08 20 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs on Thierry Henry] As a football fan I enjoy watching Thierry Henry, and some of the goals he scored last year were frightening. He’s one of those player where you know what he’s going to do but you just can’t stop it. He’s so quick, so strong and so confident. It feels like every game he’s going to score a goal

2015 11 10 Retrieve

[on David Beckham] The best crosser of the ball I have ever seen. You would make a run and he would put the ball into your path without having to break stride. A brilliant footballer

2015 11 28 Retrieve

[on Roy Keane] You never felt you were beaten when Keaney was in your team. He never threw in the towel. I don’t think any of the rest of us were less determined to win than Keaney, but what makes him different is the way he gets it across, his anger if you like. More than any other player I’ve seen, he affects players around him

2015 11 29 Retrieve

[on Roy Keane] The best captain I played under. A brilliant player who led by example. He would be the first name on my team sheet

2015 11 30 Retrieve

[on Roy Keane] Every training session would be like a cup final; he would drive you on in every single game, and he was one of the reasons we got so many late goals, he would drive the team forward. With him in the team you always felt like you had a chance

2015 12 29 Retrieve

[on Sir Alex Ferguson] He had that skill of [knowing] have you got to put your arm round someone or have you got to lose your temper to get the best out of them. I remember him having a go at me at half-time and I had the sort of attitude that ‘Right, I’ll show him’. And I played well in the second half, so then he quickly knew how I would respond to him losing his temper. That followed me for the next 20 years, so it was a big mistake early on.

2015 12 30 Retrieve

[on Sir Alex Ferguson] The thing that amazed me and frustrated me at times was his man-management. I’d never seen him have a go at Eric Cantona for example. Some of the players would resent that: ‘why is he not having a go at Cantona? He’s missed a penalty. Or why is he not having a go at Cantona? He’s had an awful game.’ The manager knew in the long-run that he would come good. That he would produce the goods at the right time. His man-management was second to none

2016 02 16 Retrieve

[Quotes on Lilians Thuram] Thuram always made it difficult for United when we played Juventus in the Champions League. He was really sharp when moving the ball out from the back, but he was also very athletic, so he’d win a lot of headers and physical battles. But his experience made him great too. He could read games really well

2016 02 17 Retrieve

[Quote on Roberto Carlos] Roberto Carlos is amazing. He’s a brilliant defender, but his biggest strength is his ability to get from box to box all the time. He’s got so much energy. He’s so quick and strong that he’s always making you defend rather than the other way round. And he can be lethal from set pieces too

2016 02 18 Retrieve

[on Rio Ferdinand] He was a brilliant leader, brilliant in the air and a great defender

2016 02 19 Retrieve

[Quote on Gary Neville] He was England’s No 1 for so many years and he was so consistent. His biggest quality was his positional play, he was always in the right position

2016 04 03 Retrieve

[Quote on Sir Bobby Charlton] He epitomises Manchester United

2016 07 09 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs said ‘farewell’ to Manchester United, a club he has been with since the age of 14] After 29 seasons at Manchester United as a player and assistant manager, I know winning is in the DNA of this club - giving youth a chance, and playing attacking and exciting football. It’s healthy to have high expectations, it’s right to expect to win. Manchester United expects, deserves, nothing less. This is why it is a huge decision for me to step away from the club that has been my life since the age of 14. It has not been a decision that I have made lightly. I’ll take away so many special memories as well as a lifetime of experiences that will, I hope, serve me well in the future

2017 07 22 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs talks about an important figure in his life during the early days of his playing career] My first Sunday League team manager was a man called Dennis Schofield, who was a milkman. He was on the way home from his milk round, stopped off, seen me playing football for my primary school, watched me play, approached my mum, and said ‘I understand you’re the mum of Ryan, does he play for a team?’
No, he doesn’t
‘Can he come down for a game on Sunday?
‘Yeah he’d love to’, then my mum introduced me to Dennis, picked me up, went to the game, dropped me off, and he did that for the next two-three years, looked after me, and someone that still works to this day at Deans [Youth and Ladies FC]
He very often volunteers, not getting paid, and just my best mate, I met that Sunday. My best mate to this day, so it’s not only learning about football, you’re meeting friends as well

2017 08 12 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs tells that Zinedine Zidane was the best player he faced] You couldn’t get the ball off him, he was massive. He was physically strong, obviously technically good, mentality good, he was the best surprise I’ve ever had on a football pitch. Actually, I wasn’t on the football pitch, I was lining up to play against him against Juventus and I just stood next to him and he was just massive, you see him on the television and you just thought he wasn’t that big. He wasn’t an overly physical player but he used his body in the right way and you couldn’t get the ball off him

2017 09 16 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs speaks about the impact that the FIFA U-17 World Cup] In EURO 2016 my country, Wales, had never been to a major championship for 60 years and they got to the semi-final and the impact it had on Wales as a country was huge not only for the next couple of months, but actually a generation. So, you have a generation watching Wales in a major championship, exciting the whole family and you will remember that forever. So, if India get it right with the U-17 World Cup, then it will last for a long time, which can only be good for football in India

2017 12 23 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs tells he tried to get Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal to sign Kylian Mbappe and Gabriel Jesus during his time as assistant coach] I watched Gabriel Jesus play three years ago. I watched Mbappe for a year. I was watching them with the scout and it was a no-brainer. It was just like, ‘Get them’. It would have been £5 million or something – get them, loan them back – and that’s where the recruitment could have been better

2018 01 20 Retrieve

[New Wales manager Ryan Giggs speaks at his opening press conference] I am so proud to have been given the honour of managing the national team. The challenges we have ahead with the Nations League and qualification for Euro 2020 excite me a great deal. I can’t wait to start working with the players as we prepare for those crucial games later in the year

2019 03 16 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs tells that Cristiano Ronaldo still has six years left in the tank] He is no longer the player that he was when he was at 19, 20 but he has adapted his game. He went from a winger, who used to beat people, make goals, score goals to now really just an out-and-out goalscorer, and he scores every type of goal, headers, goals in the six-yard box, free-kicks and every type of goal. He is also the best professional I have played with. The way he looked after himself, not only in training but also away from the pitch. The way that he eats, the way that he conducts himself. So, I’m not surprised that he is still playing and still at the top of his game. Ronaldo, if you look at him, he still looks after himself. So, if he still has that hunger, that desire and enjoying it like I said, he can still go until 40 I think

2019 06 07 Retrieve

[Giggs said after Daniel James netted a goal against Slovakia in only his second appearance for his country] Daniel James’s brought his club form to the international stage. I’m delighted. His overall game was fantastic but to top it with a goal was great and he was just a threat all day. He will be with that pace but he’s got much more. He can go either side, he’s intelligent and he works hard. He’s a great lad and I’m delighted he got the winning goal because that’s what you want. When you’ve got that raw pace you’re a threat at any level. He’s played up front as well, which will help him because that gives you an appreciation because if you’re playing those balls into a centre-forward you know exactly what to do

2019 09 06 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs is tipping a fellow Welsh winger Daniel James to follow in his footsteps by becoming a Red Devils star] It’s a club where they love wingers. They love people running at people and exciting the fans. We all know what Dan is capable of. What he has done especially over the last eight or nine months - he just gets better and better. He is at the right club. Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] will look after him in the right way - know when to play him. I am pleased for Dan. He won’t get carried away - he’s that sort of character, really down to earth, and he is at the right club to keep his feet on the ground.

I haven’t been surprised because he had a good pre-season. When you sign for a new club that’s what you want - to play nearly every game in pre-season. Then when you come on and score that gives you a lift. It doesn’t matter who you are in the world or what kind of ability you have got, confidence is everything and confidence builds. Dan has got off to a great start in his Manchester United career but also he has been brilliant for us in the last few games, especially in the summer under difficult circumstances

2019 10 14 Retrieve

[Brain injury charity criticises Giggs and James over concussion ‘acting’] Dan James went down and stayed down, a bit of acting really. The medical staff went over. He was compos mentis. We did tests at half-time and he passed them. He’s fine.

2019 11 10 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs says Man Utd star Daniel James is replicating Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford] Dan takes a lot of knocks but gets up, gets on with it and demands the ball back. Ronaldo, especially earlier on in his career, took a lot of knocks and would still demand the ball. It shows huge bravery. Dan’s a fantastic character and great professional

[Reflecting on a bad challenge during the last international break from Croatia’s Domagoj Vida, the manager said it showed that he has been singled out due to his ability] Over the years forwards have been more and more protected. But we have a few players who receive nasty treatment because of the quality they possess. You’ve got to stand up for yourself. You’ve got to trust in the referee as well that he protects the players

[Giggs knows what the support at Old Trafford want and says that the youngster checks these boxes] United fans like players who like to attack, who gets the fans off their feet - and he’s somebody who does that. With the form he’s in, he has been outstanding and a constant threat. He’s added goals and assists, which is a wingers’ game. He will get better and better - and I’m pleased for him

2019 11 16 Retrieve

[Giggs hoping to unite Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey for Wales’ final qualifier] We’ve still got to assess them. Getting Gareth off pretty early on and giving Aaron some minutes helped. Aaron showed his quality when he came on, but it’s a quick turnaround. Gareth was blowing a little bit, which is understandable, but hopefully I’ll have the option of starting both on Tuesday

We’ve had four good performances in a row, which we needed after the two difficult games in the summer. We needed to be strong and we have been. I was not happy with the number of corners we gave away, but they never really troubled us in open play and we could have scored a few more goals. Depending on the Croatia-Slovakia score, it sets us up nicely for Tuesday’s game

[It was Wales’ first away win since October 2018] Some of our play was outstanding. Since the Azerbaijan game at home we’ve improved. We’ve played some difficult teams but overall the performances have improved. We started to gain some sort of momentum, which isn’t easy in international football. The lads came into camp really confident. It doesn’t matter who’s come in, they’ve all contributed. It’s not an easy place to come, so it’s up there with one of our best performances

2019 11 19 Retrieve

[Aaron Ramsey’s stellar performance after Wales beat Hungary 2-0 at the Cardiff City Stadium] It doesn’t get any better, it’s amazing! From where we were in the summer, all credit to the lads for coming back. One of the best days of my life. We defended really well, we can play better. Overall two goals and a clean sheet and they didn’t really trouble us apart from the one save from Wayne Hennessey. This side can do a lot more. There is quality in the squad, not just the XI. Every player has shown their class, some of the lads were on their last legs at the end there. Aaron Ramsey has shown that class, his finishes - we missed him! Better late than never I suppose. To be honest I haven’t really thought about what it means personally - there’s been a lot of hard work put in and I am blessed with the best staff I could ask for

2019 11 20b Retrieve

[Victory in Azerbaijan over the weekend before success in front of their fervent home support saw them come good when it mattered] It’s doesn’t get any better. It’s amazing. From where we were in the summer with those two defeats [away to Croatia and Hungary], credit to the lads the way they’ve come back. They’ve show grit, determination and quality. It’s one of the best days of my life

Aaron Ramsey’s just showed that quality, that class. The finishes […] we missed him, but better late than never, I suppose

To be honest I haven’t really thought about that. It’s one of the greatest days of my life. There was a lot of hard work put in. Not only am I blessed with a good set of players but also the best staff I could ask for. The atmosphere every time we play in Cardiff…the fans are part of it. I was watching it in 2016 – you could tell the fans loved it then and they’ll love this even more

2019 11 27 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs talks about Eric Cantona] I think he knows how fast the full back can run too and often when Eric gets the ball you can’t conceive that a pass is on, but you have to make the run and get ahead of the defender because, just as it looks as if he’s lost it, he’ll pop it through his marker’s legs and out to you

2019 11 30 Retrieve

[Wales manager Ryan Giggs believes his side at their best can match up with anyone at Euro 2020] We want to take our chance, just like in 2016. It’s not easy, you have to get the momentum like we did in France. You hope that come June you have a group of healthy players to choose from and if we have that we’re a match for anyone

Logistically it’s Baku, Baku, Rome so for us and the fans it’s much better, we’ve got experience of being in Baku, we know what is like. Switzerland are a good team, I watched their progress, they were in with the Republic of Ireland and Denmark, a talented team. Turkey were in a group with France and Iceland, so to come out of that they’ve done well, and of course Italy were fantastic in qualifying, winning every game, that’ll be tough obviously. Italy are the stand-out team in our group. It won’t be easy but if we have all our players we’ll compete against all of them. I’ve got bad memories and good memories of playing in Rome. Hopefully when we play Italy they will have six points already and will play the reserves

2019 12 01 Retrieve

[Wales manager Ryan Giggs has defended Gareth Bale after the Real Madrid winger posed with a flag which read: Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order] I don’t know if Gareth had anything to do with it, obviously he was stood there, but I think far too much has been made of it. It was a special night for Gareth. He put in a shift in what was his second game in three days. He had not been playing, so that’s down to his fitness and professionalism

All my players I want playing, it’s as simple as that, so when they come on camp you don’t have to catch up with fitness. You don’t have to worry about bringing them on or off after 60 or 70 minutes. Where they play doesn’t matter to me. As long as they are playing at good clubs and obviously Gareth is at one of the biggest in the world. It’s been the case at the last few camps that he’s not played [at club level] but he’s done brilliantly for us because of his ability, fitness and passion. He could do it, but it wasn’t ideal. I want my players turning up match fit and that includes Gareth

2019 12 07 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs undestands why Fred isn’t penalised for handball] Yeah I thought it was a penalty. It happened pretty quickly but David Silva didn’t get the ball and he just catches Marcus Rashford. That was my first instinct that it was a penalty in real time. I think from where the referee is, it’s probably not as clear for him. But from behind the goal, Bernardo Silva clearly catches Marcus and doesn’t get the ball. For my money, it’s a penalty

2019 12 09 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs says Manchester United have rediscovered a spark and the return of Paul Pogba can see them take the next step as the Frenchman has the ability to unlock the door] It’s huge. The confidence it gives you, that you can produce that performance. All big games you need that concentration and that’s what the players had both defensively and when they won the ball making sure that pass forward was good, the touch was good and then as we’ve seen players flying off and causing City big problems. I think we all know United’s record against the big teams when the big teams open up and we can expose on the counter-attack, the next step is breaking teams down. And that’s where we have to get Paul Pogba back – he’s the one who can unlock the door. Get him back playing well and consistently, that’s the next step

We’ve seen the record, I think every team above United we’re unbeaten. It’s the teams below who make it difficult at Old Trafford where you’ve got to be patient, that’s the next step now. But that was a fantastic performance, the best performance I’ve seen for a long time from a United team

2019 12 15 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs has questioned the performance of Anthony Martial in Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Everton on Sunday] He is talented, and he’s not a bad kid, but the problem he has is that he looks lethargic all the time. He looks casual, as if he’s not bothered. When it comes off, and he’s doing brilliant things, you say it just comes naturally. But when it’s not, you think: he’s not running, he’s not trying, he’s not working hard enough, he’s not holding the ball up. So in my eyes he has to try extra hard because of his persona, because of the way that he moves. But he doesn’t look like he breaks sweat and when United are chasing a game you want someone to get across the front post – you might not score, but your teammate might score. It’s all these sort of things that you’re not getting off him at the moment. With Mason coming on and doing that, getting in positions to score goals, he [Martial] is going to be under pressure, because he’s not giving you anything defensively and he’s not giving you anything offensively either

[Greenwood also scored twice mid-week in the Red Devils 4-0 win over AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League] He looks a threat, every time he comes on. I think Ole is handling him in the right way at the moment, bringing him on, impact player. It’s just how long you can keep him like that, because also when he starts games he’s scoring goals. We talk about Martial, he’s not doing enough, he’s not much of a goal threat, no chances in the box, so it won’t be long before Mason Greenwood starts

2019 12 20 Retrieve

[Quote on Zlatan] He’s someone who, as a player, you see him walk into the dressing room and you see a winner, you see a character and you’re seeing a bit of class. As a team-mate it lifts you. These are the signings that will lift the Manchester United team and that’s what you want

2019 12 23 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs says Gareth Bale can handle the criticism which comes his way at Real Madrid] He still very much loves the game and playing it; loves winning, loves scoring goals, loves making goals. It’s all noise you can’t control and it’s about blocking it out so if you don’t hear it then it’s not going to affect you. Gareth is at one of the biggest clubs in the world, he’s won four Champions Leagues, he’s won everything so he can handle it [the criticism]

In the summer, I was the worst manager in the world - that was only six months ago. Now, people look at me differently - things change and they will do again, it’s a rollercoaster. I wanted to manage Wales to get them to the Euros but also, ultimately, to get them to the World Cup and that’s my immediate future past the Euros. The last time we were at a World Cup was 1958 so I want to get this set of players to the World Cup

2019 12 29 Retrieve

[Giggs on Anthony Martial] Anthony Martial is talented, and he’s not a bad kid, but the problem he has is that he looks lethargic all the time. He looks casual, as if he’s not bothered

2020 01 02 Retrieve

[When asked whether he wanted or expected to see Paul Pogba at United next season] No, no. I feel sorry for Ole because he’s got to continuously answer questions on Paul Pogba. I say United are on a good run at the moment and that’s without him. He’s come on and done okay in a few games but it’s disappointing at the moment. He is a talent, we talk about him all the time, he’s not consistently done it for United. Ole can only deal with the players that are fit at the moment. To continuously answer questions on a player that is rumoured to be leaving, to be injured, to be elsewhere when he should be perhaps in Carrington training, is frustrating to a manager

You can’t not play Pogba if he’s fit because you haven’t got anyone [else] with his quality to come in. Let him do his talking on the pitch, that was how I was brought up. Do your talking on the pitch. Now we’re in a different era, social media’s dominating everything at the moment

But it’s suggestion because the lad has got quality. Like I said, he’s not shown it consistently for United since he signed, since he’s come back. Is he happy? I don’t know. Does he want to be elsewhere? I don’t know

2020 01 02b Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs admits Anthony Martial can appear as though he’s not trying] When it comes off it looks as if he’s not even trying and it looks brilliant. But I think he is a victim of his body language. Like I said, the last couple of games he’s really tried. And I’ve felt that as a player, when you’re winning tackles and defending well, then you’re sharper when you do get the ball. If you’re a bit sloppy and you’re not really closing down, when you do get the ball you don’t feel as good, you feel lethargic. So I think that’s something he needs to do more and more consistently. Because as I say in the last couple of games he’s done it

If you’ve got a centre-forward who is harrying, closing defenders down, it’s huge for the midfielders. You see a striker doing that, then you’re up with the play. In contrast to Anthony Martial, who I did compliment, who I thought against Newcastle, against Burnley he was like that. But [against Arsenal] he wasn’t. Maybe he did press a couple of times and he looked back and the midfielders weren’t as compact as they should be.

2020 01 20 Retrieve

[Giggs sees Red Devils ‘five or six’ players short] I don’t think he’s [Solskjaer] got the players. He’s probably a couple of players short in actually changing that way of playing. You know, that No.10, that focal point, and also a midfielder. Whether Pogba is that, he’s been so inconsistent, obviously on his day he could be that player. But, they are missing a Grealish, a Maddison, a player like that really that could unlock the door. Because of the pace that we’ve got it suits the way that they play and also when you come up against good teams they like to dominate possession

As a manager you don’t get time. So far he has shown, in his first transfer window he signed three good players. I think he needs five or six more. I think that is going to take another couple of transfer windows. He does need that time but whether he gets that, only the results and pressure within the club will tell. But I think United want to stay strong, they want to give Ole a chance and get a bit of stability

2020 02 01 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs assesses Manchester United’s goalless draw against Wolves] Second half was better. United improved a lot. They were the better team second half. It looked like two teams who have faced each other a lot in a short space of time. They cancelled each other out and I think from a Wolves perspective it was a blow for them, Traore coming off. Because they could’ve used his pace and power in the last 20 minutes to counter-attack. [United were] better but without creating too many clear-cut chances

2020 02 02 Retrieve

[Giggs assesses Bruno Fernandes’s Man Utd debut] [You saw] glimpses of the quality he does possess. I think it might need a bit of working out what his best position is. With his back to goal, I don’t think that’s his position. When he’s a little bit deeper, defensively, he may be a bit of a liability. He’s in between the two really. That’s where you want to see him, coming on to the ball [heading into the final third]. But also you see when he is that little bit deeper he can spray the passes, he has got the vision to then play those passes. But then you need the runs.

When I went back and played in midfield, if I got the ball and no-one was running in behind, I’d tell them because first five minutes, I want to turn, face the play and move the defence. What that does, it gives space to the wide-men who want to come in, the No.10, the defence then are already on their way as soon as he gets the ball. I think he’ll want to find his best position first of all. He tired towards the end but you can see the quality that he has got.

[Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay are all currently out of action through injury] After that, you’ll see the [real] Fernandes. Hopefully Pogba comes back, Rashford, McTominay and then judge Fernandes then, when he’s got Pogba next to him or in front of him, Rashford to hit those balls. I think it [his first match] was promising from Fernandes

2020 02 14 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs says Daniel James will not suffer burnout at Manchester United] Dan has done fantastic. To make that step up to United and to have the start that he did, he’s fine. I’ve seen quite a lot of him and he’s done fine this year. He’s played a lot of games, but that’s good. The more games you play, the better experience you will have

No. Dan’s a tough cookie, he gets kicked. He’s played in the Championship – when you play in the Championship for a couple of seasons you are robust and you are ready for the Premier League

When you set a standard and you just drop below it then you are open to criticism, but Dan is still doing fine. I’ve always maintained that he’s at a good club, with a good manager who will handle him right. Dan is one of those players that will keep improving. Wingers, your job is score goals and make goals, that final ball, trying to get up to those double figures in goals – these are the things that wide players have got to do, and Dan will get there

2020 03 04 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs has described Bruno Fernandes as a fantastic player] He’s a fantastic player. He’s lifted the place, he has lifted everyone around him and it’s still early days. I still think he can get even better. He’s hit the ground running which is what you want, especially [after] signing in the January transfer window [because] it doesn’t always happen. But he’s fantastic and I’m pleased to see him doing so well

2020 03 09 Retrieve

[Giggs praises Solskjaer for silencing doubters] Huge credit [has to be given to Solskjaer], he changed the system even though the principles stay the same. He left Scott McTominay out, started with Dan James, a couple of changes from Everton last week when I thought they did really well. Ole deserves all the credit. Fernandes has come in and been a revelation, he’s lifted the place. Ole and the players deserve a lot of credit

2020 03 23 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs says UEFA 100% right to postpone Euro 2020] UEFA made 100 per cent the right decision postponing the Euros. For international managers it is always a difficult time after the November games because you don’t see the players until March. Obviously, that is going to be even longer now but that comes second to everyone’s health and well-being and making sure everyone is healthy. Then we can get back to the business of football and sport in general which gives so many people a rest from everyday life. We just hope it comes sooner rather than later but first of all let’s get rid of this virus and get on with our normal lives again

2020 04 14 Retrieve

[Beckham’s Real Madrid move kept Giggs at Man Utd as Inter circled for Red Devils legend] Not really, but as a footballer you always want a challenge and I felt there was one at the start of every season, whether it was defending the league, winning it back, or having won a couple of leagues in a row and wanting to go on to win the Champions League. There was always a challenge. Around 2002-2003, the summer that David Beckham left, there was talk of me potentially going to Inter Milan. I hadn’t heard anything but I then didn’t have the greatest of starts to the next season but I ended up doing OK. There was a lot of talk of one of us going [at the end of the 2002-03 season]. David ended up going, but that was probably the closest I ever got to leaving. But I never wanted to leave. I always wanted that challenge every year. I was part of a team that I loved playing for

2020 04 28 Retrieve

[Man Utd legend Giggs reveals why Arsenal great Lee Dixon was one of toughest opponents] I often say Lee Dixon was one of the most difficult opponents because he was quickish, but also intelligent. He always got his distances right, which not all full-backs do, especially quick ones, because they always think that they can get out of jail. Dixon always got that distance right and you couldn’t spin him behind. And, if you did get the ball to feet he was up to you to stop you from turning or hurry you into making a decision

Highbury was a tight pitch so I enjoyed playing against him more at Old Trafford. Highbury wasn’t really a winger’s dream, it was tight and they had that experience from David Seaman, through the defence to midfield. They were really strong in defensively. I had many battles with him over the years. He was intelligent brave and also made you run back as well. Very often the toughest opponents I’ve played against like Cafu and [Javier] Zanetti would make you defend as well and make you run back

I tried to not only intimidate them by running in behind constantly. If I did have the ball I could penetrate players and if I didn’t have it I was prepared to run in behind and cause problems. I wanted to stamp my authority on the full-back and it was always cat and mouse

2020 05 10 Retrieve

[Giggs names four Man Utd players who were immune from Sir Alex’s ‘hairdryer treatment’] There were three or four players that he never had a go at. Eric Cantona was one – Bryan Robson, Roy Keane and Cristiano Ronaldo. They were all in their own ways matchwinners. They did the stuff on the pitch, so he never felt he had to. Eric, there were some games where Eric didn’t do anything. He didn’t score, he wasn’t running around like a Carlos Tevez or a Wayne Rooney, he didn’t have any impact. But he knew sooner or later he would come good. We would be sat in the dressing room thinking: ‘He’s got to have a go at him, he’s got to have a pop at him because he didn’t do anything today’. But the next week he’d scored the winner or he would produce a moment of magic, so he handled the big names really well as long as they were doing it on the pitch, he handled them in a different way. He was the master of psychology, he was a master at getting the best out of certain individuals like whether to put an arm around, or whether to give them a rocket at half-time or at the end of the game or leave them out knowing that the player would react in a positive way.

I fell out with him plenty of times. I mean the amount of times I would say over my career, six or seven times where it was a couple of weeks’ wages I was fined for talking back, for having an argument. At the time it’s not very nice, you’re in the dressing room, you’ve just got beat or you’ve had a bad performance. And I just couldn’t help myself to have a go back. He actually, later in his career, he told me he liked that, it meant that you cared. He’d still fine you two weeks because he wanted to show that he was in charge but he actually quite liked it, as long as it didn’t cross the line of course

2020 05 17 Retrieve

[Manchester United legend Giggs reveals Pogba and Fernandes penalty trick he could never master] My technique with penalty taking was - you know you see players looking at the goalkeeper? Eden Hazard - I mean he’s amazing, he just goes up so slowly, and even Bruno Fernandes now with a little hop. I could never do that. My philosophy was: ‘I’m putting it low into the corner - even if the goalkeeper goes the right way, he’s not gonna save it if I execute it right’. That was my philosophy, so it doesn’t matter if he went the right way or not. If I do low, side-netting, he shouldn’t be able to save it. That was my philosophy, rather than looking at the goalkeeper, trying to play mind games and having the confidence which Hazard and Bruno Fernandes [have]. Pogba did for a while that slow run up. I could never do that

Because I’d come on as sub, I think beforehand they’d already done the list of penalty takers, and we had some good penalty takers. We had [Carlos] Tevez, Cristiano - who missed, we had Michael Carrick, Owen Hargreaves - obviously with his German background at Bayern he was never going to miss. So we had some really good penalty takers before as well. Some penalty takers who would be penalty takers in open play. Doubts over where to place the penalty? No, and that was the preparation during the week with Carlos Queiroz the coach. We’d practiced, tried to create a realistic atmosphere, which of course is nearly impossible. But [we did] the walk up from the centre-circle, place it, take it seriously, blow the whistle. What I’d done that week was I’d took about 15 penalties and scored 14, and the one that I’d missed hit the post - but every one was the same side. So I had the technique already in my head where I was gonna put it, it was just about me holding my nerve

2020 05 22 Retrieve

[Giggs explains how Solskjaer overhauled Man Utd’s transfer policy] Daniel James’s not only a talented player. He’s a really good character and a solid lad. He wants to improve and that’s what I’ve seen over the last 18 months. Every time I went to watch him at Swansea, he was getting better and better and he’s had a great start to his United career. He’s a United player as well and someone who United fans will enjoy watching. He’ll beat men, he’ll make things happen and, of course, he has that devastating speed. But as I said, more than that for me, is he’s a really good character. I think that’s what Ole has tried to do over the last months, have some really good characters in the dressing room.

It was a shame we had to pause the season because we were flying. Ole started his management with United flying, then had a tough spell, and then we were on a good run. But, like I said earlier, the players he’s got in have been really impressive. They’ve improved the team and the dressing room and obviously, in Fernandes, we’ve seen over the years the effect one player can sometimes have. You talk about the Eric Cantonas, the Robin van Persies … and I’m not comparing him yet to them but he’s made other players play better and he’s given everyone a lift. I still think we need four or five players but we’re definitely going in the right direction

2020 05 23 Retrieve

[Giggs backs Man Utd youngster Dylan Levitt to have bright career] When Dylan was in the squad, we had must-win games, so I couldn’t really throw him in and put him in that pressure cooker. But, in training, he’s one of the best. He’s my kind of player – a good character, quiet but tough, and he’s one that I’ll be taking a big look at over the next year or so. I want him to develop and if he does and, if he plays more games, then he’ll definitely be in the reckoning. He’s a really intelligent player with a good range of passing and he stands out in training in every session. As I said, it’s just a shame that I couldn’t get him on the pitch

Obviously, when I’ve been going away with them, I’ve not really played, but just being around them is amazing. Seeing the different side of international football, day in and day out, with everyone training at 100 per cent. We worked so hard to qualify so it’s a big shame really that it’s been pushed back [until 2021]. All of us were raring to go for the summer as soon as we beat Hungary so it’s a bit of a setback. I’ve seen the quotes from the manager and it really means a lot to hear that from someone who has achieved so much in the game

2020 05 24 Retrieve

[Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has opened up on the difference between former coaches Sir Alex Ferguson and Louis van Gaal] I understand what Wayne was saying. Obviously we both worked under Sir Alex who I’ve known since I was 13. Sir Alex had everything – man-management, discipline, standards, tactics, knowing a player, but with him, because we had such good players who had been together for a long time, you’d just go out and play. You knew your role, it was just a matter of just tweaking it. With Louis it was probably the opposite. We played different systems under him whereas under Sir Alex we more or less just played one system and we’d tweak it. I can’t remember us ever playing three at the back, maybe once or twice if we needed to hold on, but other than that we didn’t.

It was about getting an understanding of the different ways to play. So I know what Wayne was saying because Louis worked a lot more on the training pitch with regards to patterns of play and tactical work. He’d come from Holland and also an international background and he took that into club football, so we had a lot of meetings – players felt sometimes too many! With Sir Alex it was quite simple. I’m not saying we didn’t have meetings – of course we did – but we had such good players that the manager would just need to tell them once and it would just be a little tweak here and there, like Ji-sung Park would go and mark Pirlo for example and Ji would do it and do it brilliantly. So I know what Wayne meant in terms of learning a lot under Louis

2020 05 25 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs has proclaimed Inter stalwart Javier Zanetti as the toughest opponent] The hardest player I played against was [Javier] Zanetti from Inter. He ran all day and he used to be a midfielder so he was comfortable on the ball, he could defend, he was tough and he actually broke my nose in the quarter-finals against them. He had everything as a defender.

The best player is Cristiano. Obviously he was only with us for a short space of time, when he was brilliant, and then went on to do just as well as he did at United elsewhere. But Scholesy is the best player I played with at United. You’ve all seen him. In training, he was ridiculous, you couldn’t get near him. His brain was quicker than everyone else, his range of passing and he was nasty. If someone had taken the mickey out of him it was logged in the brain. Whether it be that training session or a week later or even six months later, he’d get you back. You’d think you’d got him in training and then he’d just pop the ball off and give the little feign, he was just brilliant in training

2020 05 29 Retrieve

[Giggs looking at Liverpool for Wales inspiration] I think what we have seen this year is Liverpool are a fantastic team, managed by a great coach Jurgen Klopp and, it pains me to say it as a United fan, but they have been fantastic this season. Obviously they’ll go on and, whatever way it is, they’ll win the league and deserve it. They’ve had two brilliant seasons actually, last year pushing Man City all the way. They’re a great team to watch. There were certain things that I’ve taken out of the way that Liverpool play, and taking it on to the way that I want to do with Wales. Hopefully United will bridge that gap and catch them up. But you have to give credit where credit is due and Liverpool have been fantastic this season.

[Asked about Old Trafford product Marcus Rashford] It’s great when you see young players burst onto the scene and they’re just fearless. They just, don’t think too much about the game and just express themselves. And you think back to when you were like that. You have Jadon Sancho at Dortmund, a young player who’s made the bold decision to leave Manchester City and go to another country at a young age. And he really has made a difference. His team-mate as well, Erling Haaland who’s scoring lots of goals. And I’ve got a lot of good young players in my Wales team, the likes of David Brooks, Dan James and Ethan Ampadu

2020 06 06 Retrieve

[Former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs believes that Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba is a central-midfield combination that can bring success to the club] You can’t answer that question until they play together, whether or not they will gel. Good players should be able to play with good players but we’ll have to wait and see. They both have lots of quality, it’s about if they can complement each other now

Ole’s signings have been good, not only as players but they are good people. Fernandes coming in has given everyone a lift, it’s an exciting end to the season. It’s early doors to be talking about the players who have come in and made an impact [such as Eric Cantona] but certainly he’s off to a great start. He’s made players around him better and has just fitted in straight away. That’s always what you pray for when a new signing comes in. He looks a good guy as well, he wants to play for the club. He’s exciting, when he receives the ball he will try things, if something doesn’t come off he will try it again, he’s brilliant to watch. He’s given everyone a lift, the players around him, the staff, the fans. A really positive start but a long way to go yet

2020 06 07 Retrieve

[Giggs explains why he learned more from Van Gaal than Ferguson] Obviously I had different international managers, but that’s only obviously a short space of time. That’s why I talk about Louis (van Gaal), regarding my coaching, because I’m actually two years in the meetings, [taking] responsibility, and I talk so fondly of him because that was really my first coaching role. Whereas when you’re playing, you don’t know the preparation

You don’t know what the manager’s seen on the videos. Players get seven or eight minutes of watching the opposition, but the coaching staff watch hours and hours

So that is completely different, it’s completely different, even though you’ve worked under a manager for so long. It was more sort of the man-management and the different things that Sir Alex would do that I’ve picked up on, whereas with Louis obviously I’ve seen first-hand different systems, why you play the different systems, the reasons for this and the reasons for that, It was a really good experience

Amazing experience, amazing, and one, really, that made my mind up that I wanted to become a manager. I would say up until then that I was still unsure

I just felt comfortable. I felt comfortable decision-making. I felt comfortable in that position. It was a brilliant experience. I was still doing my pro licence, but actually being in the job, having to make the decisions, all the pressure that you put yourself under, you can’t prepare yourself for that

2020 06 13 Retrieve

[The attacks became personal, with some criticising his Spanish and others - even team-mates such as goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois - mocking him for playing golf and staying in rather than socialising at night] I remember the original Ronaldo getting stick off Real Madrid fans. I remember Cristiano getting stick early doors. It’s that kind of club. It’s a club like no other where the white handkerchiefs come out if they don’t like you. That’s just the way it is

2020 06 20 Retrieve

[Ryan Giggs wants to see Manchester United sign Jack Grealish] I mean, if a quality player like that comes available, United are going to be [interested]. He looks like a United player, he takes the ball, he attracts loads of fouls

[Fans have taken to Odion Ighalo but the Nigeria international is 31 and hasn’t yet scored a goal against a Premier League side for United] I would say that we definitely need a centre-forward. Someone who, if a team is deep, is going to play deep and be on the end of those passes, crosses and score 25 goals. I still think if we’re going to catch City, we’re three or four players short. But [it’s] definitely exciting and promising with Bruno [Fernandes] and [Paul] Pogba coming into the team.