At 39, Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs Wins Yet Another Premier League Title

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Manchester United clinched their record 20th Barclays Premier League crown on Monday evening courtesy of a thrilling first half hat-trick by none other than Robin van Persie.  After another excellent performance from the Dutchman, it would be almost unfair to compliment the play of Ryan Giggs who controlled the midfield and service into the box that was spot-on against Aston Villa.

Ryan Giggs Manchestser United

Ryan Giggs (Wikimedia Commons)

At 39-years-old, Ryan Giggs has certainly been around the Red Devils through the ups and downs.  This seasons Premier League crown comes as the Welshman’s 13th league title after 22 remarkable seasons with United.  After the match, Sir Alex Ferguson was quick to note “He’s a unique freak.”  Certainly any footballer past 35 is quite impressive in any league, but to be playing 22 seasons in one of the most grueling leagues in the world, not to mention the high-caliber of performances that United is held to, is a feat in and of itself.

Fergie was so elated with his sides performance, he even continued on with his statements about his long-time player that “He’ll play for another two years, trust me.”  Back in March, Giggs signed a one-year extension to his contract and does not show any signs of putting to bed a trophy-filled career.

Over the years, Giggs has shown the changing dimension to his game.  During his younger years, the living legend was a tireless force alongside the left flanks and has since transitioned into a more intelligent, ball possession based player.  With the likes of Wayne Rooney, Shinji Kagawa, Robin van Persie, Chicharito, and Danny Welbeck all taking the attacking pressure off of Giggs, he has been able to flourish in the midfield alongside some of the best in the game. On a similar note, playing alongside his long-time teammate Paul Scholes (who this season has struggled with injury) certainly boosts his morale as he nears his 40′s.

Reflecting back on a marvelous career – his solo effort against Arsenal in the 1999 FA Cup semi’s, or most recently his 2009 PFA Player of the Year award indicates the continuous presence he has maintained throughout his footballing career.  Even as he continues to thrive under Fergie’s tutelage, it comes to mind that he may certainly go down as one of the best players to never appear in a World Cup match, in which he retired from the Welsh squad back in 2007.

The 39-year-old may not provide as many goals or assists as he once did in his younger years, but his experience all throughout the park is electrifying.  Giggs seemingly never shies away from a crunching tackle, or to challenge back on a 30-yard run to defend after giving up possession.  Not only is his Scottish manager realizing this large feat that Giggs continues to make a career of, but players like David Beckham, Robin van Persie, and even Michael Carrick applaud his splendid career.

Carrick was even speechless after being asked about how Giggs can continue his excellence by stating “I keep talking about him but what else is there left to say [...] It is not just physical, it is mental, having the drive and desire to do it every day.”

And 25 major trophies later, Giggs is still loving his place with the Red Devils.  The veteran midfielder repeatedly uttered his praise for the entire Manchester United staff from the back-room help, managerial staff, and first team members – and quickly noted the unbelievable success that Sir Alex Ferguson has brought to Old Trafford during his tenure.  When asked about his place in the side Giggs told Sky Sports “It’s nights like this that you’re going to miss when you finish but it’s nights like this also that drive you on.”

UEFA President Michel Platini is even getting in on the Giggs praise as he told BBC Sport, “That is beautiful.  I like people that fight for their colors and don’t change [clubs] every two months to make business.”

As nostalgia sets in with Ryan Giggs and the rest of his Manchester United comrades, four games remain in a Premier League season with plenty of highs and lows.  Although the 39-year-old may be quite pleased with his sides silverware this season, knowing Giggs’ tenacity he could be hard pressed to rally his side for yet another crown in the EPL – as well as the coveted Champions League medal.

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