Ryan Giggs still believes international retirement was the right decision
Ryan Giggs maintains the belief he made the correct decision to retire from international football and has backed Wales to recover from their disappointing start to World Cup qualifying.
The Manchester United star in 2007 ruled himself out of representing his country in a bid to prolong his club career and it has proved beneficial as he continues to play in the Premier League at the age of 38.
Giggs admits he will always have slight regrets when watching Wales, as was the case on Friday night when Chris Coleman's side lost to Belgium in their opening qualifier for the 2014 World Cup, and there are always calls for his return.
However, the man who this summer was Team GB's Olympic football captain is in no doubt about the long-term benefits, as he told Sky Sports News: "I decided to retire just to prolong my career, which I think was the right choice.
"But, of course, you think back to when you were playing for Wales and the great memories and you want to do the best for your country. Unfortunately I have retired now."
The defeat in Cardiff by a Belgium side including the likes of Eden Hazard, Marouane Fellaini and Vincent Kompany among a host of stars was far from ideal for Wales, who in the first half had James Collins sent off.
They are now already under pressure ahead of Tuesday's second Group A match against Serbia in Novi Sad and the task does not get any easier.
Wales' strong group also includes British rivals Scotland along with Croatia and Macedonia but Giggs, who never qualified for the finals of a major international competition with his country, is confident his compatriots can bounce back.
"It is a tough group," he said. "Belgium, with some of the players they have got, it was always going to be a tough game.
"Obviously, with James getting sent off, it was always going to be uphill after that and a bit of a struggle and unfortunately not the result you want at the start of a campaign.
"But the good thing is there are still plenty more games to go and you have got plenty of time to turn it around so hopefully we can do that."