Giggs enjoys Cairo Trophy Tour stop
Ryan Giggs described the reception he received in Egypt as "mindboggling" as he shared his memories on the latest stop of the 2017 UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour presented by Heineken.
Manchester United might be one of the biggest clubs in the world, but even former midfielder Ryan Giggs – who has been there, seen it and done it all – admitted that the reception he received in Egypt this last week was "mindboggling."
Speaking in Cairo during the fourth stop on the 2017 UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour presented by Heineken, the man who made 963 appearances across an incredible 24 seasons for the Red Devils confessed "it's still a surprise to see how far Manchester United has travelled around the world" as he was mobbed by fans at events across the football-mad city.
A two-time Champions League winner, Giggs sat down with UEFA.com to speak of his joy at winning the trophy – in both occasions in the most dramatic of circumstances.
"The win in 1999 was the best feeling I've had on the pitch," he enthused when recalling those two late strikes against Bayern München.
"The shift of emotions from losing to winning within two minutes. It's the only time I've ever cried on a football pitch.
"Moscow was different; I was older. You were getting more joy out of the other lads like Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney winning it for the first time and seeing their faces. It was also dramatic but you could savour it a little but more."
Monday marks the 10th anniversary of United's stunning 7-1 victory over Roma, however rather than bask in the glory of such a display, the Welshman talks about it as if it were just another day in the office at the Theatre of Dreams.
"Sometimes at Old Trafford in the Champions League we used to just blow away teams in the first few minutes and it was one of those kind of nights, a magical night that can happen at Old Trafford in the Champions League.
"We came up against really good teams: Juventus who were the benchmark in the mid-to-late 90s. We'd been taught a lesson a couple of times but then beat them in 1999 and that gave the belief to go on and win it. We played an unbeaten Porto side in the groups and blew them away 4-0.
Those kind of games where Old Trafford was flying and we were never going to be beaten by anyone."
Regrets? Giggs has a few. There might have been more European glory. "We could've won it a few times more. There's occasions where things just don't your way. Leverkusen in 2002, Dortmund in 1995, then Real Madrid a couple of years ago. We could've gone onto win it in any of those occasions; but that's the difficulty of European football."
With José Mourinho's side into the last eight of the UEFA Europa League but four points off a top four spot in the Premier League, Giggs feels that United should target glory in the competition to secure a place in next season's UEFA Champions League.
"If you win a trophy and get in the Champions League it's a good season and they're still on track to do that," he said. "Is winning the Europa League the best way? It probably is because you look at the teams left in it. You'd fancy Mourinho, with all his experience and success in Europe, and United's side against any of them left in it. I think all of the other teams would want to avoid United."