Sir Alex Ferguson believes Ryan Giggs is in the form of his life.
The evergreen Manchester United winger turned in another superb performance as the Red Devils advanced to the FA Cup quarter-finals by beating Derby on Sunday.
Giggs is likely to be on the bench for tomorrow’s Premier League encounter with Fulham at Old Trafford, but with 788 appearances behind him the 35-year-old seems to be better than ever. And Ferguson, who has managed Giggs for each of his 18 seasons at Old Trafford, is not about to disagree.
"Yes, I think he is," Ferguson said when asked if Giggs was playing the best football of his career.
"He is playing better than he did two or three years ago because he has added composure, control and authority to his game.
"What you are seeing is someone who has played for a long time and collected all these experiences together.
"Even at 35, Ryan is at his absolute peak as a footballer. Some players reach their peak at 28 or 29 and then fade a little bit, which is why they retire at 33 or 34.
"But Ryan has been at his peak for a long, long period."
Former Wales team-mate Robbie Savage believes Giggs is the best player of the Premier League era and many observers, including Ferguson, are suggesting it is time the Cardiff-born star was rewarded with major individual player of the year awards for the first time.
And it is not just Giggs’ ability on the pitch which earmarks him as someone special.
The example he sets to youngsters has also been highlighted, with Ferguson recognising his good fortune in working with such a shining example of professionalism.
"Ryan is fantastic," he said.
"It is not just the example he shows on the football field, it is what he does off it.
"Every player in the club is saying to themselves ’How does that guy do it?’ He is the living example of looking after yourself.
"The nutritional advice that is around today, the sports science and the training methods, give players a far better opportunity of playing well into their 30s now.
"Maybe people scratch their heads in wonderment at the achievements of the lad but he shows what can be done."