Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Ferguson hails Giggs' longevity

Ryan Giggs has signed a contract extension at Manchester United

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson does not believe the incredible feats of Ryan Giggs will ever be repeated.

The club have confirmed Giggs - who will make his 1,000th senior competitive appearance if he features against Norwich on Saturday - has signed yet another one-year contract extension.

The new deal will take the Welshman beyond his 40th birthday and is a reward for his recent stellar performances, including a goal in last week's win at QPR that kept him in line to land a record 13th league championship. "What an incredible career," said Ferguson.

"He seems to reach a new milestone every week. It's unique in the modern game, but I think it's more than that - I don't think it will ever be achieved again by anyone."

Other than legendary AC Milan duo Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta, it is difficult to think of anyone who has remained at the very highest level for quite so long, and, as Ferguson has previously pointed out, the physical demands on a defender do not compare to those made on an attacking player.

"Twenty-three years in the first team is unbelievable," said Ferguson.

"He is an example to all in the way he looks after himself. I told him this morning I expect a bill from his mother for all the sandwiches and teas she used to make for us when we went to his house every week when we were trying to get him to sign schoolboy forms.

"It seems a long time ago. He will be involved (against Norwich) tomorrow and on Tuesday (against Real Madrid) so somewhere along the line he is going to play his 1,000th game this week."

Giggs has always said he was never in a rush to determine his short-term future. There have been points this season when he did not appear to have one. However, he has rediscovered his most effective form over recent weeks and now has a major part to play in United's treble quest.

"I am feeling good, enjoying my football more than ever and, most importantly, feel I am making a contribution to the team," said the veteran Welshman. "This is an exciting team to be part of, with great team spirit, and we are again pushing for trophies as we head towards the business end of the season."

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