Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

I never thought of leaving United, says Giggs

Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs has never even thought about leaving Manchester United.

The newly-crowned PFA player of the year made his 800th Red Devils appearance in Wednesday’s Champions League win over Arsenal.

With Middlesbrough to come in the Premier League today before Tuesday’s return leg at the Emirates Stadium, Giggs know he will be used sparingly by Sir Alex Ferguson as he tries to get the most out of his squad.

For Giggs, an 11th league championship medal and third Champions League gong are on the horizon — proof of the value of being a one-club man, when the club is as successful as United.

There was a time when the former Wales skipper was linked with a move abroad, most notably with Inter Milan, however, Giggs did not consider the prospect and it was never remotely close.

"It was never a consideration to leave," he said.

"I was linked with a few clubs, but it was never really close. Why would I think about it when I was always happy here?"

With Paul Scholes and Gary Neville as team-mates for the vast majority of his 18 years as an Old Trafford regular, it would be easy to feel the phenomenon of individuals players remaining at one club is exclusive to United.

However, the presence of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher at Liverpool, and even Raul at Real Madrid, suggests otherwise, with Giggs not entirely convinced his own longevity will remain unsurpassed.

"They probably said the same thing when Sir Bobby Charlton retired after 759 games, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone went past my record," said the 35-year-old.

"The way players look after themselves now, if they get into a first team at 18 or 19 and stay relatively injury-free they can do it.

"It is a long time and a lot of games, but you have other big players at big clubs who have stayed for a long time."

For someone who hardly ever looks back on past glories, as numerous as they are, Giggs enjoyed the montage of clips played out at the plush London ceremony last weekend — including that famous goal against Arsenal which has been voted the best in FA Cup history.

A rendition of the national anthem was also provided by a Welsh choir, a reminder of Giggs’ Cardiff roots.

"I don’t tend to look back like that, but every now and then it is really nice," he said.

"It was interesting to see the reaction of everyone there and made me feel quite proud.

"In some ways I can’t believe I scored some of those goals.

"I wouldn’t be able to score them now, that’s for sure.

"I was quicker then and could beat defenders a lot easier than I do now."

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